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^M OF emci^ 

BR 325 .M63 1846 i 

Michelet, Jules, 1798-1874 
The life of Luther gathere( 
from his own writings 










G. H. SMITH, F.G.S. 



Introduction , j 

A.D. 1483—1521. 



A.D. H83— 1.517.— Birth, Education of Luther— His 
Ordination, Temptations, and Journey to Rome ... 3 

A.D. 1517 — 1521. — Luther attacks the Indulgences. — 
He burns the Papal Bull.— Erasmus, Hutten, Franz 
von Sickingen, — Luther appears at the Diet of 
Worms.— He is carried off o 

A.D. 1521—1528. 



A.D. 1523— 1525.— Carlstadt.-Munzer.— War of the 
Peasants 30 


A.D. 1521 — 1524. — Luther's Residence in the castle of 
Wartburg. — He returns to Wittembfrg without the 
Elector's authority.— His Writings against the King i CHAPTER IV. 

of England, and against Princes in general 18 j A.D. 1524— 1527.— Luther attacked by the Rationalists. 

' — Zwingle. — Bucer, &c. — Erasmus 41 


I A.D. 1526 — 152!).— Luther's Marriage.— His Poverty, 
Beginnings of the Lutheran Church. — Attempts at Or- j Discouragement, Despair, Sickness. — Belief in the 
ganisation, &c 26 I approaching end of the World 4J 

A.D. 1529—1546. 


A.D. 1534— 1536.— The Anabaptists of Munster 52 

A.D. 1529— 1532.— The Turks.— Danger of Germany.— CHAPTER III. 

Augsburg, Smalkalde.— Danger of Protestantism ... 47 A.D. 1536— 1545.— Latter Years of Luther's Life.— 

Polygamy of the Landgrave of Hesse, &c 56 


A.D. 1530—1546. 

Of Schools, Universities, and the Liberal Arts 64 

The Drama.— Music — Astrology.— Printing. — Banking., 65 

Of Preaching. — Luther's Style.— He acknowledges the 
violence of his character 67 


Luther's Conversations on Domestic Life, on Wives and 
Children, and on feature 59 


The Bible.— The Fatliers— The Schoolmen.— The Pope. 
— Councils 61 




Deaths of Luther's Father, of his Daughter, &c 68 \ 


Of Equity ; of Law. — Opposition of the Theologians to I 


Temptations. — Regrets and Doubts of his Friends and 
his Wife. — Luther's own Doubts 73 

the Jurists 
Faith : the Law 


I The Devil.— Temptations 74 



CHAPTER IV. j jjjg Ailments.— Longings for Death and Judgment.— 

Of Innovations: the Mystics, &c 71 : Death, a. d. 1546 79 

Additions and Illustrations 



The following work is neither the life of Luther turned into an historical romance, nor a history of the 
establishment of Lutheranism, but a biography, consisting of a series of transcripts from Luther's own 
revelations. With the exception of the events of the earlier years of his life, when Luther could not 
have been the penman, the transcriber has seldom had occasion to hold the pen himself. His task has 
been limited to selecting, arranging, and fixing the chronology of detached passages. Throughout the 
work Luther is his own spokesman — Luther's life is told by Luther himself. Who could be so daring as 
to interpolate his own expressions into the language of such a man ! Our business is to listen to, not 
interrupt him : a rule we have observed as strictly as was possible. 

This work, which was not published till 1835, was almost entirely written during the years 1828 and 
1829. The translator of the Scienza Nuora* felt at that period a lively consciousness of the necessity of 
tracing from theories to their application, of studying the general in the individual, history in biography, 
humanity in one man; and this a man who had been in the highest rank of mankind, an individual who 
had been both an entity and an idea; a perfect man, too — a man both of thought and action; a man, in 
fine, whose whole life was known, and that in the greatest detail — a man, whose every act and word had 
been remarked and registered. 

If Luther has not written his own memoirs, he has, at the least, supplied admirable materials for the 
task+. His correspondence is scarcely less voluminous than Voltaire's; and there is not one of his dog- 
matic or polemical works into which he has not introduced some unintentional detail which the biographer 
may turn to advantage. All his words, too, were greedily garnered by his disciples; good, bad, insignifi- 
cant, nothing escaped them. Whatever di-opped from Luther in his most familiar converse, at his fire- 
side, in his garden, at table, after supper, his most trifling remark to his wife or his children, his most 
trivial reflection, went straightway into their note-books. A man so closely watched and followed must 
have been constantly letting fall words which he would have wished to recall. Lutherans have subse- 
quently had occasion to regret their indiscreet records, and would willingly have erased this line, that 
page; but ([uod scriptum est, scrijitum est (What is written is written). 

In these records, then, we have Luther's veritable confessions — careless, unconnected, involuntary, and, 
therefore, the more veritable confessions. Assuredly, Rousseau's are less ingenuous; St. Augustin's less 
full, less diversified. 

Had Luther himself written every word of this biography, it woulitake its rank between the two 
works just alluded to. It presents at once the two sides, which they give separately. In St. Augustin's, 
passion, nature, and human individuality, are only shown, in order to be immolated at the shrine of divine 
grace. The saint's confessions are the history of a crisis undergone by the soul, of a regeneration, of a 
vita nuova (a new life) ; he would have blushed at making us more intimately acquamted with that 
worldly life on which he had turned his back. The reverse is the case with Rousseau. Grace is out of 
the question ; nature reigns with undivided, all-triumphant, and undisguised sway; so much so, as at 
times to excite disgust. Luther presents, not grace and natui'e in equilibrium, but in their most 
agonising strife. Many other men have suffered the struggles of sensibility, the excruciating temptations 
of doubt. Pascal clearly endured them all, but stifled them, and died of the effort. Luther conceals 
nothing: he could not contain himself. He suffers us to see and to sound the deep plague-sore uiherent 
in our nature, and is, perhaps, the only man in whose moral structure we can find a pleasure in studying 
this fearful anatomy. 

Hitherto, all that has been shown of Luther is his battle with Rome. We give his whole life, his 
struggles, doubts, temptations, consolations; a picture in which the man engrosses us as much as, and 
more than, the partisan. We show this violent and terrible reformer of the North not only in his eagle's 
nest at Wartbourg, or braving the emperor and the empire in the diet at Worms, but in his house at 
Wittemberg, in the midst of his grave friends, of his children, who cluster round his table, walking with 
them in his garden, by the border of the small pond, in that melancholy cloister which became a family 

* M. Michelet alludes to his version of Vico's great work. 

t For Luther's German works I have followed the Wittemberg edition, in 12 vols. fol. 1539—1559; for his Latin, the vols.fol. 1545— 155S, and, occasionally, that of Jena, in 4 vols. fol. 1600— 1B12 ; for the " Tischreden," 
the Frankfort edition, in fol. 1568. As for the extracts from Luther's letters, their dates are so carefully given in the text, 
that the reader has only to turn to De Wette's excellent edition (5 vols. 8vo., Berlin, 1825), to lay hands upon them at once. 
I have availed myself of some other works besides Luther's, — of Eckert's, Seckendorff's, Mareineke's, &c. 


residence; here we hear him dreaming aloud, and finding in all surrounding objects, the flowers, the 
fniit, the bird that flits by, food for grave and pious thoughts. 

But the sympathy which may be inspired by Luther's amiable and powerful personal character must 
not influence our judgment with regard to the doctrine he taught or the consequences which naturally 
flow from it. This man, who made so energetic a use of liberty, revived the Augustinian theory of the 
annihilation of liberty, and has immolated free-will to grace, man to God, morality to a sort of providen- 
tial fatality. 

The friends of liberty in our days are fond of citing the fatalist, Luther. At first, this strikes one as 
strange. But Luther fancied that he saw himself in John Huss and in the Vaudois, champions of free- 
will. The fact is, that these speculative doctrines, however opposed they may seem, take their rise in one 
and the same principle of action — the sovereignty of individual reason; in other words, in resistance to the 
traditional principle, to authority. 

Therefore, it is not incorrect to say that Luther has been the restorer of liberty in modern times. 
If he denied it in theory, he established it in practice. If he did not create, he at least courageously 
affixed his signature to that great revolution, which rendered the right of examination lawful in Europe. 
Aud if we exercise in all its plenitude at this day this first and highest privilege of human intelligence, 
it is to him we are mostly indebted for it; nor can we think, speak, or write, without being made conscious 
at every step of the immense benefit of this intellectual enfranchisement. To whom do I owe the 
power of publishing what I am even now inditing, except to the liberator of modern thought ? 

This debt paid to Luther, we do not fear to confess that our strongest sympathies do not lie this way. 
The reader must not expect to find here the examination of the causes which rendered the victory of 
Protestantism inevitable. We shall not display, after the example of so many others, the wounds of a 
Church in which we were born, and which is dear tons. Poor, aged mother of the modern world, denied 
and beaten by her son, it is not I, of a surety, who would wish to wound her afresh. Eleswhere, we 
shall take occasion to express how much more judicious, fruitful, and complete, if it be not more logical, 
the catholic doctrine appears to us than that of any of the sects which have risen up against her. It is 
her weakness, but her greatness likewise, to have excluded nothing of man's invention, and to have sought 
to satisfy at one and the same time the contradictory principles of the human mind. It was this, and 
this only, which aff'orded those who reduced man to such or such a given principle the means of their 
easy triumph over her. The imiversal, in whatever sense it be understood, is weak against the special. 
Heresy means choice, a speciality, — speciality of opinion, speciality of country. Wickliff and John Huss 
were ardent patriots; the Saxon Luther was the Arminius of modern Germany. The Church, universal 
in time, space, and doctrine, was inferior to each of her opponents, inasmuch as she possessed but one 
common means. She had to straggle for the unity of the world with the opposing forces of the world; 
inasmuch as the larger number were with her, she was encumbered with the lukewarm and timid ; in her 
political capacity she had to encounter all worldly temptations; the centre of religious behef, she was 
inundated with numberless local beliefs, agamst which she could hardly maintain her unity and perpetuity. 
She appeared to the world, even what the world and time had made her, and tricked out in the motley 
robe of history. Having undergone and embraced the whole cycle of humanity, she had contracted its 
littleness and contradictions. The small heretical communions, rendered zealous by danger and by 
freedom, isolated, and therefore the purer and more sheltered fi'om temptations, misapprehended the 
cosmopolitan Church, and compared themselves to her with pride. The pious and profound mystic of the 
Rhine and of the Low Countries, the rustic and simple Vaudois, pure as the herb of his own Alps, could 
easily accuse of adultery and prostitution her who had received and adopted every thing. Each rivulet 
may say to the ocean : — " I deapend from my mountains, I know no other water than my own ; thou art 
the receiver of the impurities of the whole world." — " Yes; but I am the Ocean." 

All this might be said, and ought to be developed; and no work would stand in greater need of an 
introduction than one dedicated to such a discussion. To know how Luther was compelled to do and to 
suff'er that which he himself calls the extremest of miseries; to comprehend this great and unhappy man, 
who sent the human mind on its wanderings at the very moment that he conceived he had consigned it 
to slumber on the pillow of grace; to appreciate the powerlessness of his attempt to ally God and man, 
it would be necessary to be cognizant of the most important attempts of the kind, made both before and 
after his day, by the mystics and rationalists; in other words, to sketch the whole history of the Christian 
religion. At some future time, perhaps, I may be tempted to give such an introduction. 

Why, then, put off" this too ? Why begin so many things, and always stop before you complete ? If 
the answer be thought of consequence, I willingly give it. 

Midway in Roman History, I encountered Cliristianity in its infancy. Midway in the History of 
France, I encountered it aged and bowed down; here, 1 have met it again. Whithersoever I go, it is 
before me; it bars my road and hinders me fi'om passing. 

Touch Christianity ! it is only they who know it not, who would not hesitate .... For me, I call to 
mind the nights when I nursed a sick mother. She suff'ered from remaining in the same position, and 
would ask to be moved, to be helped to turn in her bed — the filial hands would not hesitate; how move 
her aching limbs ! 

Many are the years that these ideas have beset me; and, in this season of storms, they ever 
constitute the torment and the dreams of my solitude. Nor am I in any haste to conclude this internal 
converse, which is sweet to myself at the least, and which should make me a better man, or to part as 
yet from these my old and cherished meditations. 



A.D. 1483—1521. 

A.D. 1483—1517. 


" In the many conversations I have had with 
Melanchthon, I have told him my whole life from 
beginning to end. I am a peasant's son, and my 
father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were 
all common peasants. My father went to Mans- 
feld, and got employment in the mines there ; and 
there I was born. That I should ever take my 
bachelor of arts and doctor's degree, &c., seemed 
not to be in the stars. How I must have sur- 
prised folks by turning monk ; and then, again, by 
changing the brown cap for another ! By so 
doings I occasioned real grief and trouble to ray 
^Iher. Afterwards I went to loggers with the 
pope7married a runaway nun, and had a family. 
Who foresaw this in the stars ? Who could have 
told my career beforehand^?'' i 

John Luther, the father of the celebrated Mar- 
tin Luther, was of Moera or Moerke, a small village 
of Saxony, near Eisenach. His mother was the 
daughter of a lawyer of the last named town ; or, 
according to a tradition, which strikes me as the 
preferable one of the two, of Neustadt in Fran- 
couia. A modern writer states, but without giving 
any authority for the anecdote, that John Luther, 
having had the misfortune to kill a peasant who 
was herding his cattle in a meadow, was forced to 
fly to Eisleben, and afterwards to the valley of 
Mansfeld. His wife, who was in the family-way, 
accompanied him ; and, on reaching Eislgben, 
she was brought to bed of Martin Luther, yitie 
father, a poor miner, had great difficulty in sup- 
porting his familj^jand, as will presently be seen, 
his children were sometimes obliged to have re- 
course to charity. ;Yet, instead of making them 
help him with their labour, he chose that they 
should go to school. ; John Luther seems to have 
been a simple ancl smgle-hearted man, and a sin- 
cere believer. When his pastor was administering 
consolation to him on his death-bed : " He must 
be a cold-blooded man," was his remark, " who 
does not believe what you are telling me." His 

wife did not survive him a year (a.d. 1531). They 
were at this time in the enjoyment of a small 
property, for which they were no doubt indebted 
to their son. John Luther left at his death a 
house, two iron furnaces, and about a thousand 
thalers in ready money. The arms of Luther's 
father, for peasants assumed arms in imitation of 
the armorial bearings of the nobles, were a 
hammer, no more. Luther was not ashamed of 
his parents. He has consecrated their names by 
inserting them in the formulary of his marriage 
service : " Wilt thou, Hans (John), take Grethe 
(Margaret) to thy wedded infe,^'' &c. 
'"'^ it is my pious duty," he says in a letter to 
Melanchthon, informing him of his father's death, 
" to mourn him of whom it was the will of the 
Father of Mercy that I should be born, him by 
whose labour and sweat God has supported and 
made me what I am, worm though I beJ Assuredly 
I rejoice that he lived unto this day, to see the 
light of truth. Blessed be the counsels and de- 
crees of God for ever ! Amen !" 
!■" Martin Luther, or Luder, or Lother (for so he 
sometimes signs himself), was born at Eisleben, on 
thelOthof November, 1483, ateleven in the evening. 
Sent at an early age to school at Eisenach (a.d. 
1489), he sang in the streets for a livelihood, as was 
a common practice of that time with poor German 
students. We are made acquainted with this cir- 
cumstance by himself : — " Let no one speak con- 
temptuously before me of the poor ' companions,' 
who go about singing and crying at every door. 
Panem propter Deum! (bread for God's sake!) 
You know that the Psalm says — ' Princes and 
kings have sung.' I, myself, have been a poor 
mendicant, and have received bread at the doors of 
houses, particularly in Eisenach, my beloved city!" 
He at length met with a more certain livelihood, as 
well as an asylum, in the house of dame Ursula, 
wife or widow of John Schweickard, who took pity 
on the poor wandering child ; and he was enabled 
by this chiwitable woman to study four years at 
Eisenach. -In 1501, he entered the univereity of 
Erfurth, where he was supported by his father. ' 
In one of his works, Luther mentions his benefactress 
in terms of tenderest emotion, and for her sake 
valued the sex all his life. After essaying theology, 
he was persuaded by his friends, to devote himself 


A.D. 1483—1517- 

to the study of the law, which, in that day, was the 
path to all lucrative offices in both church and 
state; but he never seemed to liave been attached to 
it. j He preferred general literature, and especially 
music, which was his passion, and which he culti- 
vated all his life, and taught his children. He 
does not hesitate to own his opiniDU that, next to 
theology, music is the first of the arts : — " Music is 
the art of the prophets ; the only one which, like 
theology, can calm the troubles of the soul, and put 
the devil to flight." He touched the lute, played 
on the flute. Perhaps he would have succeeded in 
other arts. He was the friend of the great paintei', 
Lucas Cranach. He was, it seems, skilful with his 
hands, and acquired the art of turning. His 
predilection for music and literature, and the con- 
stant reading of the poets, with which he diversified 
his study of logic and of law, were far from fore- 
shadowing the serious part which he was destined 
to play in the history of religion; and it is presum- 
able, from various traditional anecdotes, that, 
notwithstanding his application to his studies, he 
led the life of the German students of the day, and 
participated in their noisy habits, their gaiety in 
the midst of indigence, their union of a warlike 
exterior with sweetness of soul and a peaceful 
spirit, and of all the parade of a disorderly life 
with purity of morals. Certainly, if any one had 
met Martin Luther, travelling on foot from Er- 
furth to Mansfeld, in the third week of Lent, in the 
year 1503, with his sword and hunting-knife at his 
side, and constantly hurting himself with these 
weapons of his, he would never have thought that 
the awkward student would in a short time over- 
throw the dominion of the catholic church through- 
out half of Europe. 

In 1505, the young man's life was accidentally 
turned into quite a new channel. A friend of his 
was struck dead by lightning at his side. He ut- 
tered a cry ; and that cry was a vow to St. Anne 
to turn monk. The danger over, he made no at- 
tempt to elude a vow into which lie had been sur- 
prised by terroi", he solicited no dispensation ; he 
regarded the stroke which he conceived himself to 
have narrowly escaped, as a menace and command 
from Heaven, and only deferred the fulfilment of 
the obligation he had undertaken for a fortnight. 
On the 17th of July, 1505, after having spent the 
evening i)leasantly in a musical party, with his 
friends, he entered the same night the cloister of 
the Augustins, at Erfurth, taking with him only his 
Plautus and his Virgil. The next day, he wrote to 
various parties bidding them farewell, informed his 
father of the step he had taken, and remained se- 
cluded a whole month. He was conscious how much 
he still clung to the world ; and feared to face his 
father's respected countenance, his commands, and 
his prayers. In fact, it took two years to persuade 
Johu Luther to allow him his way, and to consent 
to be (tresent at his ordination. A day on which 
the miner could quit his wurk was fixed for the 
ceremony ; and he came to Erfurth, accompanied 
by many of his friends, when he bestowed on the 
son he was losing twenty florins, the amount of his 

It must not be supposed that the new priest was 
impelled by any particular fervour to contract so 
serious an engagement. We have seen the bag- 
gage of mundane literature which he brought 
with him into the cloister. Let us hear his own 

confession of the frame of mind with which he en- 
tered : " When I said my first mass at Erfurth, 
I was all but dead, for I was without faith. My 
only thought was, that I was most acceptable. 1 
had no idea that I was a sinner. The first mass 
was an event much looked to, and a considerable 
sum of money was always collected. The horce 
canonicce were borne in with torches. The dear 
young lord, as the peasants called their new priest, 
had then to dance with his mother, if she were still 
alive, whilst the bystanders wept for joy ; if dead, 
he put her, as the phrase runs, under the commu- 
nion-cup, and saved her from purgatory." 

Luther having obtained his wish, having become 
priest and monk, all being consummated and the 
door closed, there then began, I do not say regrets, 
but misgivings, doubts, the temptations of the flesh, 
the pernicious subtleties of the spirit. We of the 
present day can have but a faint idea of the rude 
gymnastics of the solitary mind. Our passions are 
regulated; we stifle them in tlieir birth. How can 
we, plunged in the enervating dissipation of a thou- 
sand businesses, studies, and easy enjoyments, and 
blunted by precocious satiety both of the senses and 
the mind, picture to ourselves the spiritual conflicts 
entered into by the man of the middle age 2 the 
painful mysteries of an abstinent and phantastic 
life; the fearful fights which have taken place, 
noiselessly and unrecorded, betwixt the wall and the 
sombre casement of the monk's j)oor cell ? An 
archbishop of Mentz was accustomed to say : " The 
human heart is like the stones of a mill; if you put 
corn between them they grind it and make it into 
flour; but if you put none, they keep turning till 
they grind themselves away." ..." When I was 
a monk," says Luther, " I often wrote to Dr. 
Staupitz. I once wrote to him, ' Oh ! my sins ! my 
sins! my sins !' to which he replied, ' You desire to 
be without sin, and yet are free from all real sin. 
Christ was the pardon for sin.' "... "I fre- 
quently confessed to Dr. Staupitz, not about trifles 
such as women are in the habit of doing, but about 
thoughts which go to the root of the matter. He 
answered me, like all other confessors, ' I don't 
understand you.' At last he came to me as I was 
sitting at table, and said, ' Are you so sad, then, 
f rater Marline ? ' ' Ah !' replied I, ' yes I am.' 
' You are not aware,' he said, ' that temptation of 
the kind is good and necessary for you, but only for 
you.' He simply meant that I was learned, and, 
without such temptations, would become proud and 
haughty ; but I afterwards knew that it was the 
Holy Ghost that was speaking to me." 

Elsewhere, Luther describes how those tempta- 
tions had reduced him to such a condition that he 
did not eat, drink, or sleep for a foi'tnight. " Ah ! 
were St. Paul now living, how should I wish to hear 
from himself what kind of temptation it was by 
which he was tried. It was not the sting of the 
flesh; it was not the good Tecla, as the Papists 
dream. Oh ! no; that were not a sin to rack his 
conscience. It was something exceeding the 
despair caused by sins ; it was rather the tempta- 
tion alluded to by tlie Psalmist, when he exclaims, 
' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me V 
As if he meant to say, ' Thou art my enemy without 
a cause;' or the cry of Job : ' I am, nevertheless, 
just and innocent.' I feel certain that the book of 
Job is a true history, out of which a poem was sub- 
sequently made. . . . Jerome and the other fathers 

A.D. 1483—1517. 


did not undergo sueli temptations. Tliey suffered 
but puerile ones, tliose of the flesh, which, how- 
ever, have their own pangs too. Augustin and 
Ambrose had theirs; they trembled before the 
sword; but this is nothing in comparison with the 
angel ot Satan, who buffets with the Jists. . . . If my 
life endure a little longer I will write a book on 
temptations, without undergoing which one can 
neither comprehend Holy Scripture nor know the 
love and fear of God.'' — " .... I was ill in the in- 
firmary. The cruellest temptations exhausted and 
racked my fi'ame, so that I had scarcely power to 
draw a breath. None gave me comfort. Those to 
whom I complained answered, ' We know nothing 
of this.' Then I said to myself: ' Am I alone to be 
so depressed in mind ? ' . . . Oh ! what horrible 
spectres and faces danced around me ! . . . But, 
for these ten years, God, bj' his dear angels, has 
given me the comfort of fighting and writing (in 
his cause ?)." 

Long after this, the year before his death, he 
explains the nature of these fearful temptations : — 
" From the time that I atten<led the schools, I had 
felt, when studying St. Paul's Epistles, the most 
intolerable anxiety to know the intent of St. Paul's 
Epistle to the Romans. I stuck at one phrase — 
Justitia Dei recelatur in lllo (for tb.ereiu is the 
righteousness of God revealed). I hated that word, 
Justitia Dei (the righteousness of God), because I 
had learnt to understand it, with the schoolmen, of 
that active justice, through wliich God is just, and 
punishes the unjust and sinners. Leading the life 
of a blameless monk, yet disturbed by the sinner's 
uneasy conscience, and unable to feel certain of 
justification before God, I could not love, rather, 
1 must confess it, I hated this just God, the 
avenger of sin. I waxed wroth, and murmured 
loudly within myself, if I did not blaspheme — 
' What,' I said, ' is it not enough that unhappy 
sinners, already eternally lost through original 
sin, are overwhelmed with innumerable woes by 
the law of the decalogue, but must God heap 
sufl'ering upon sufi"ering, and menace us in the 
Gospel itself with his justice and his wrath ?' , . . 
I was hurried out of myself on this wise by the 
uneasiness of my conscience, and kept constantly 
recurring to and sifting the same passage, with 
a burning desire to penetrate St. Paul's meaning. 

" As I meditated day and night upon the words: 
' For therein is the righteousness of God revealed 
from faith to faith : as it is written, The just shall 
live by faith,' God at length took pity upon me. I 
perceived that the righteousness of God is that by 
which the just man, through God's goodness, lives, 
that is to say, faith ; and that the meaning of the 
passage is — the Gospel reveals the righteousness of 
God, a passive i-ighteousness, through which the 
God of mercy justifies us by faith. On this I felt 
as if I were born again, and seemed to be entering 
through the opening portals of Paradise. . . . Some 
time afterwards I read St. Augustin's work, Of the 
Letter and the Sj/trit, and found, contrary to my 
expectation, that he also understands by the right- 
eousness of God, that which God imputes to us by 
justifying us; a coincidence which afforded nie grati- 
fication, although the subject is imperfectly stated 
in the work, and this father does not explain 
himself fully or clearly on the doctrine of im- 
putation " 

In order to confirm Luther in the doctrine 

of grace, there wanted but his visiting the country 
in which grace had beccmie extinct, that is, Italy. 
We need not describe the Italy of the Borgias. 
There indisputably existed at this period a cha- 
racteristic (jf which history has seldom or never 
presented another instance ; a reasoning and scien- 
tific perversity, a magnificent ostentation of crime ; 
to sum up the whole in one word, the priest- 
atheist, king in his own belief of the woi-ld. This 
belonged to the age ; but what belonged to the 
country, and what cannot change, is the uncon- 
querable paganism which has ever existed in 
Italy ; where, despite every eff'ort, nature is 
pagan, and art follows nature, a glorious comedy, 
tricked out by Raphael, and sung by Ariosto. The 
men of the North could but faintly appreciate all 
that there is of grave, lofty, and divine in Italian 
art, discerning in it only sensuality and carnal 
temptations ; their best defence against which was 
to close their eyes and pass on quickly, cursing as 
they passed. Nor wei'e they less shocked by 
Italy's austerer part, policy and jurisprudence. 
The Germanic nations have ever instinctively 
rejected and cursed the Roman law. Tacitus de- 
scribes how on the defeat of Varus, the Germans 
took their revenge on the juridical forms to which 
he had endeavoured to subject them : having 
nailed the head of a Roman lawyer to a tree, one 
of these barbarians ran his tongue through with a 
bodkin, exclaiming, " Hiss, viper 1 hiss, now !" 
This hatred of the legists, perpetuated throughout 
the Middle Age, was, as it will be seen, warmly 
participated in by Luther ; as, indeed, might have 
been expected. The legist and the theologian are 
the two poles— the one believes in liberty, the 
other in grace ; the one in man, the other in God. 
Italy has always entertained the first of these 
beliefs : and the Italian reformer, Savonarola, 
who preceded Luther, only proposed a change in 
works and manners, and not in faith. 

Behold Luther in Italy. The hour that one first 
descends from the Alps into this glorious land is 
one of joy, of vast hopes ; and, indisputably, Luther 
hoped to confii'm his faith in the holy city, and 
lay his doubts on the tombs of the holy apostles. 
Nor was he without a sense of the attraction of 
ancient, of classic Rome ; that sanctuary of the 
learning which he had so ardently cultivated in 
his poor Wittemberg. His first experience of the 
country is being lodged in a monastery, built of 
marble, at Milan ; and so as he proceeds from 
convent to convent, he finds it like changing from 
palace to palace. In all, alike, the way of living 
is lavish and sumptuous. 'J'lie candid German somewhat surprised at the magnificence in 
which humility arrayed herself, at the regal 
splendour that accompanied penitence ; and he 
once ventured to tell the Italian monks that it 
would be better not to eat meat of a Friday ; an 
observation which nearly cost him his life, for 
he narrowly escaped an ambush they laid for him. 
He continues his journey, sad and undecided, 
on foot, across the burning plains of Lombardy. 
By the time he i-eaches Padua he is fairly ill ; 
but he persists, and enters Bologna a dying man. 
The poor traveller's head has been overcome by 
the blaze of the Italian sun, by the strange sights 
he has seen, the strangeness of manners and of 
sentiments. He took to his bed at Bologna, the 
stronghold of the Roman law and the legists, in 


A.D. 1517. 

the tirra expectation of speedy death ; strengthen- 
ing himself by whispering in the words of the 
prophet and the apostle, " The just man lives by 
faith." In one of his conversations he displays 
with much simplicity the horror felt of Italy by 
the worthy Germans : " The ItaUans require no 
more to take away your life than that you should 
look into a glass; and can deprive you of all your 
senses by secret poisons. The very air is deadly 
in Italy. They close the windows with the greatest 
care at night, and stop up all the crevices." 
Luther asserts that both he and the brother who 
accompanied him fell ill through having slept with 
the windows open ; but two pomegranates that 
they eat, with God's grace, saved their lives. He 
resumed his journey, passed through Florence 
only, and at last entered Rome. He alighted at 
the convent of his order, near the Porta del 
Popolo. " As soon as I arrived I fell on my knees, 
raised my hands to heaven, and exclaimed, ' Hail, 
holy Rome, sanctified by holy martyrs, and the 
blood which they have shed here !'".... In his 
enthusiasm, he says he hastened to every sacred 
spot, saw all, believed all. But he soon dis- 
covered that he was the only believer. Christianity 
seemed to be forgotten in this capital of the 
Christian world. The pope was no longer the 
scandalous Alexander VI., bvit the choleric and 
warlike Julius II. ; and this father of the faithful 
breathed only blood and desolation. His great 
artist, Michael Angelo, represented him hurling 
his benediction at Bologna, like a Jupiter hurling 
thunder ; and Julius had just given him an order 
for a tomb to be as large as a temple. 'Twas the 
monument, of which the Moses, amongst other 
statues, has come down to us. 

The sole thought of the pope, and of Rome, at 
this period, was war with the French. Had Luther 
undertaken to speak of grace and the powerlessness 
of woi'ks to this strange priest, who besieged towns 
in person, and who but a short time before would 
not enter Mirandola except through the breach, he 
would have met with a patient listener ! His car- 
dinals, so many officers serving their apprentice- 
ships to war, were politicians, diplomatists, or else 
men of letters, learned men sprung from the ranks 
of the people, who only read Cicero, and would 
have feared to compromise their Latinity by opening 
the Bible. When speaking of the pope, they styled 
him kiyh poiitif; a canonized saint was, in their 
language, relatus inter divos (translated to Olympus) ; 
and if they did happen to let fall an allusion to 
God's grace, it was in the phrase, Deorum imnior- 
tal'ium beneficiis (by the kind aid of the immortal 
Gods). Did our German take refuge in churches, 
he had not even the consolation of hearing a good 
mass. The Roman priest would hurry through the 
divine sacrifice so quickly, that when Luther was 
no further than the Gospels, the minister who per- 
formed service was dismissing the congregation 
with the words, " Ite, missa est," (Ye may go, ser- 
vice is over.) These Italian priests would often 
presume to show off the freethinker, and, when 
consecrating the host, to exclaim " Pants cs, et panis 
manebis." (Bread thou art, and bread thou shalt 
remain.) To veil one's head and fly was the only 
resource left. Luther quitted Rome at the end of 
a fortnight, beai'ing with him, into Germany, the 
condemnation of Italy, and of the Church. In his 
rapid and saddening visit, the Saxon had seen 

enough to enable him to condemn, too little to allow 
him to comprehend. And, beyond a doubt, for a 
mind preoccupied with the moral side of Christian- 
ity, to have discovered any religion in that world of 
art, law, and policy, which constituted Italy, would 
have requii-ed a singular effort of philosophy. " I 
would not," he somewhere says, " I would not have 
missed seeing Rome for a hundred thousand florins" 
(which words he repeats three times). I should 
ever have been uneasy, lest I might have done in- 
justice to the pope." 

A.D. 1517— 1521. 


The papacy was far from suspecting her danger. 
Ever since the thirteenth century, she had been 
clamoured against and railed at ; until the world 
appeared to her to have been lulled to sleep 
by the monotonous wranglings of the schools. 
There seemed nothing strikingly new left to be said : 
every one had talked himself out of breath. Wick- 
liff, John Huss, Jerome of Prague, persecuted, con- 
demned, and burnt, had, nevertheless, had time to 
make full clearance of their minds. The doctors 
of the most Catholic University of Paris, the Pierre 
d'Aillys, the Clemengises, even the mild Gerson 
himself, had had, respectively, their blow at the 
papacy. Patient and tenacious, she lasted, how- 
ever, and made shift to live on ; and so the fifteenth 
century slipped away. The councils of Constance 
and Bale produced greater noise than result. The 
popes let them go on talking, managed to get the 
Pragmatic acts revoked, quietly re-established 
their dominion in Europe, and founded a great so- 
vereignty in Italy. Julius II. conquered for the 
church ; Leo X. for his family. The latter, young, 
worldly-minded, fond of literature, a man both of 
pleasure and of business, like the rest of the Me- 
dieis, had all the passions of his age, both those of 
the old popes and those of his own day. He aimed 
at making the Medici kings ; and he himself sus- 
tained the part of the first king of Christendom. 
Independently of that expensive scheme of diplo- 
macy which embraced all the states of Europe, he 
maintained distant scientific relations, pushed his 
inquiries even into the north, and made a collection 
of the monuments of Scandinavian history. At 
Rome, he built St. Peter's, a duty bequeathed him 
by Julius II. ; who had not sufficiently calcu- 
lated his resources, for who could think of money 
when Michael Angelo laid such a plan before him ? 
Speaking of the Pantheon, he had said, " I will 
hang it up three hundred feet high in the air." 
The poor Roman state was not strong enough to 
contend with the magnificent genius of such artists, 
whose conceptions even the ancient Roman empire, 
the master of the world, would hardly have been 
able to realize. Leo X. had begun his pontificate 
by selling Francis I. what did not belong to him, 
the rights of the church of France ; and, shortly 
afterwards, in order to raise money, he had created 
thirty cardmals at once. These were trifling re- 
sources. He was not owner of the mines of 

A.D. 1517—1521. 


Mexico ; his mines were the ancient faith of the 
people, their credulous good-nature ; and he had 
sold the right of working tlieiu in Germany to the 
Dominicans, who succeeded the Austin friars in 
the sale of indulgences. The Dominican, Tetzel, an 
impudent mountebank, went about with great bus- 
tie, display, and expense, disposing of his ware in 
the churches, public squares, and taverns. He 
pocketed the proceeds, giving in the smallest re- 
turn he possibly could ; a fact which the pope's 
legate brought home to him some time after. As 
the faith of purchasers waxed less, it became expe- 
dient to enhance the merit of the specific, which had 
been so long hawked about that the market had 
fallen. The fearless Tetzel had pushed rhetoric 
to the extremest limits of amplification. Boldly 
heaping pious lie on lie, he went into an enumera- 
tion of all the evils cured by this panacea, and, not 
contenting himself with known sins, invented 
crimes, devised strange, unheard-of wickednesses, of 
which no one had ever dreamed before ; and when 
he saw his auditory struck with hori'or, coolly 
added, " Well, the instant money rattles in the 
pope's coffers, all will be expiated !" 

Luther asserts that at this time he hardly knew 
what indulgences were; but when he saw a pro- 
spectus of them, proudly displaying the name and 
guarantee of the archbishop of Mentz, whom the 
pope had appointed to superintend the sale of 
indulgences in Germany, he was seized with indig- 
nation. A mere speculative problem would never 
have brought him into contact with his ecclesiastical 
superiors; but this was a question of good sense and 
morality. As doctor of theology, arid an influential 
professor of the university of Wittemberg which 
the elector had just founded, as provincial vicar of 
the Austin friars, and the vicar-general's substitute 
in the pastoral charge and visitation of Misnia and 
Thuringia, he, no doubt, thought himself more re- 
sponsible than anyone else for the safeguard of the 
Saxon faith. His conscience was aroused. He 
run a great risk in speaking; but, if he held his 
tongue, he believed his damnation certain. He 
began in legal form, applying to his own diocesan, 
the bishop of Brandenburg, to silence Tetzel. The 
bishop replied, that this would be to attack the 
power of the Church; that he would involve himself 
in trouble of every kind, and that it would be wiser 
for him to keep quiet. On this, Luther addressed 
himself to the primate, archbishop of Mentz and of 
Magdeburg (a prince of the house of Brandenburg, 
a house hostile to the elector of Saxony), and sent 
him a list of propositions which he offered to main- 
tain against the doctrine of indulgences. We 
abridge his letter, which runs to great length in 
the original (October 31st, 1517). 

" Venerable father in God, most illustrious prince, 
vouchsafe to cast a favourable eye on me, who am 
but dust and ashes, and to receive my request with 
pastoral kindness. There is circulated throughout 
the country, in the name of your grace and lord- 
ship, the papal indulgence for the erection of the 
cathedral of St. Peter's at Rome. I do not so 
much object to the declamations of the preachers of 
the indulgence, as to the erroneous idea entertained 
of it by the pooi-, simple, and unlearned, who are 
every where openly avowing their fond imaginations 
on the subject. This pains me, and turns me sick. 
.... They fancy that souls will be delivered from 
pui'gatory as soon as their money clinks in the 

(papal) coffer. They believe the indulgence to be 
powerful enough to save the greatest sinner, even 
cue (such is their blasphemy) who might have vio- 
lated the holy mother of our Saviour ! . . . . Great 
God ! these poor souls, then, are to be taught, under 
your authority, to death and not to life. You will 
incur a fearful and heavily increasing responsibility. 
.... Be pleased, noble and venerable father, to 
read and take into consideration the following 
propositions, in which is shown the vanity of the 
indulgences which the preachers give out as a 

The archbishop making no reply, Luther, who 
misdoubted such would be the case, on the very 
same day at noon (October .31st, 1517, the day be- 
fore All Saints' Day) affixed his pi'opositions to the 
door of the church of the castle of Wittemberg, 
which is still in existence. 

" The following theses will be maintained at 
Wittemberg, before the reverend Martin Luther, 
moderator, &c., 1517: — 

" The pope neither can nor will remit any penalty 
except such as he has himself imposed, or in con- 
formity with the canons. 

" The penitential canons are for the living; they 
cannot impose any punishment on the soul of the 

" The changing of canonical punishment into 
the pains of purgatory is a sowing of tares: the 
bishops were clearly asleep when they suffered such 
seed to be sown. 

" That power of extending relief to souls in pur- 
gatory, which the pope can exercise throughout 
Christendom, belongs to each bishop in his own 
diocese, each curate in his own parish .... Who 
knows whether all the souls in purgatory would 
wish to he released ? is said to have been asked by 
St. Severinus. 

" Christians should be taught, that unless they 
have a superfluity, they ought to keep their money 
for their family, and lay out nothing upon their sins. 

" Christians should be taught, that when the pope 
grants indulgences, he does not so much seek for 
their money as for their earnest prayers in his 

" Christians should be taught, that if the pope 
were made acquainted with the extortions of tlie 
indulgence-preachers, he would prefer seeing the 
basilica of St. Peter's reduced to ashes, to building 
it with the flesh, fleece, and bones of his sheep. 

" The pope's wish must be, if indulgences, a 
small matter, are proclaimed with the ringing of a 
bell, with ceremonial, and solemnity, that the 
Gospel, so great a matter, should be preached with 
a hundred bells, a hundred ceremonies, a hundred 

" The true treasure of the Church is the sacro- 
sanct Gospel of the glory and gi'ace of God. 

" One has cause to hate this ti-easure of the 
Gospel, by which the first become the last. 

" One has cause to love the treasure of indul- 
gences, by which the last become the first. 

" The treasures of the Gospel are the nets by 
which rich men were once fished for. 

" The treasures of indulgences are the nets with 
which men's riches are now fished for. 

" To say that the cross, placed in the pope's 
arms, is equal to the cross of Christ, is blas- 

" Why does not the pope, out of his most holy 


A.D. 1517— 152L 

charity, empty purgatory, in which ai'e so many 
souls in punishment ? This would be a worthier 
exercise of his power than freeing souls for money 
(this money brings misfortune), and to put to what 
use ? to build a church. 

" What means this strange compassion of God 
and the pope's, who, for money's sake, change the 
soul of an impious person, of one of God's enemies, 
into a pious soul and one acceptable to the Lord I 

" Cannot the pope, whose treasures at the present 
moment exceed the most enormous treasures, build 
a single church, the basilica of St. Peter's, with his 
own money, rather than with that of the poor 
faithful ? 

" What does the pope remit, what does he give 
those who, by perfect repentance, are entitled to 
plenary forgiveness ? 

" Far from us all those prophets, who say to the 
people of Chi'ist — 'Peace, peace,' and do not give 

" Far, very far, all those prophets who say to 
Christ's people — ' Tlie cross, the cross,' and do not 
show the cross. 

" Christians should be exhorted to follow Christ, 
their head, through pains, punishments, and hell 
itself ; so that they may be certified that it is 
through tribulations heaven is entered, and not 
through security and peace, &c." 

These propositions, which are all negative and 
polemic, found their complement in the following 
dogmatic theses, which wex'e published by Luther 
almost simultaneously : — 

" ]\Ian by his nature cannot will that God be 
God. He would rather himself be God, and that 
God was not God. 

" It is false that appetite is free to choose both 
ways ; it is not free, but captive. 

" There exists in nature, before God, nothing 
save concupiscence. 

" It is false that this concupiscence can be regu- 
lated by the virtue of hope. For hope is opposed 
to charity, which seeks and desu'es only what is of 
God. Hope does not come of our merits, but of 
our passions, which efface our merits. 

" The best and only infallible preparation and 
disposition for the reception of grace, are the 
choice and predestination of God from all eternity. 

"As regards man, nothing precedes grace, except 
indisposition to grace, or rather rebellion. 

" It is false that invincible ignorance is any 
extenuation. Ignorance of God, of oneself, of good 
works, is the invincible nature of man, &c." 

The publication of these theses, and the sermon 
in the vulgar tongue, which Luther delivered in 
support of them, fell like a thundei-bolt upon 
Germany. Tliis immolation of liberty to grace, 
of man to God, of the finite to the infinite, was 
recognized by the German people as the true 
national religion, the faith which Gottsclialk had 
professed in the days of Charlemagne, in the very 
cradle of German Christianity, the faith of Tauler, 
and of all the mystics of the Low Countries. The 
people thi'ew themselves wildly and greedily on the 
religious food, from which they had been weaned 
since the fourteenth century. The propositions 
were printed by countless thousands, devoured, 
circulated, hawked about. Luther was alarmed at 
his own success. " I am grieved," he saj's, " to 
see them printed and cii'culated in such numbers ; 
'tis not a proper way of instructing the people. I 

myself still retain some doubts. I could have 
proved some points better, and should have omitted 
others, had I foreseen this." He seemed, indeed, 
disposed to retract everything, and to submit. " I 
desire to obey," he said ; " I should prefer obeying 
to working miracles, even had I the gift of miracles." 
But these pacific resolutions were dissipated by 
Tetzel's conduct, in burning the propositions. The 
Wittemberg students retaliated on Tetzel's, and 
Luther expresses some regret at it. However, he 
published his Resolutiotis, in support of his first 
propositions. " You shall see," he writes to a friend 
my Resolutiones et Responsioncs (resolutions and an- 
swers). Perhaps, you will think some passages 
moi-e fi'ee than was required ; but so much the 
more intolerable must they seem to the flatterers of 
Rome. I had already published them : otherwise, 
I would have softened them down a little." 

The noise of this controversy spread beyond 
Germany, and reached Rome. It is said that Leo X. 
believed the whole to be a matter of professional 
jealousy, betwixt the Austin friars and Dominicans; 
and that he exclaimed, " Mere monkish rivalry ! 
brother Luther is a man of genuis !" Luther 
avowed his respect for the pope, and at the same 
time wi'ote two letters, one being addressed to 
Leo X., in which he submitted himself unreservedly 
to him and to his decision . " Most holy father," 
were his concluding words, " I cast myself at your 
feet, with the offer of myself, and all that is in me. 
Pronounce the sentence of life or death ; call, 
recall, approve, disapprove, I acknowledge your 
voice to be the voice of Christ, who reigns and 
speaks in you. If I have deserved death, I shall 
not flinch from dying, for the earth and the fulness 
thereof are the Lord's, whose name be blessed for 
ever and ever ! May he vouchsafe your eternal 
salvation ! Amen 1" (Day of the Blessed Trinity, 
1518). The other letter was to Staupitz, the vicar- 
general, whom he begged to forward it to the pope. 
In this, Luther indicates that the doctrine he 
had maintained, had been taught him by Staupitz 
himself. " I call to mind, revei'eud father, that 
among those sweet and profitable discourses of 
yours, which through the grace of our Lord Jesus 
were the source of unspeakable consolation to us, 
you treated of the subject of repentance, and that, 
forthvi'ith, moved by pity for the numerous con- 
sciences which are tortured by innumerable and 
msupportable prescriptions as to the true way of 
making confession, we welcomed your words as 
words from heaven, when you said, "the only true 
repentance is that ichich has its begitming in the lore of 
justice and of God," and that what is commonly 
stated to be the end of repentance, ought rather to 
be its beginning. This saying of yours sunk into 
me like the sharp arrow of the hunter. I felt 
emboldened to wrestle with the Scriptures, which 
teach repentance; wrestling full of charms, during 
which the words of Scripture were showered from 
all parts, and flew around hailing and ap])lauding 
this saying. Aforetime, thei-e was no harder word 
for me in Scripture than that one word, repent- 
ance ; albeit, I endeavoured to dissemble before 
God, and express my love of obedience. Now, no 
word sounds so sweetly in my ear. So sweet and 
lovely are God's commands when we learn to read 
them not in books only, but in the very wounds of 
the sweet Saviour!" — Both those letters are dated 
from Heidelberg (May 30th, 1518), where the 

A.D. 1517— 1521. 


Austin friars were then holding a provincial synod, 
which Luther attended to maintain his doctrines 
against every comer. This famous University, 
only two steps from the Rhine, and, consequently, 
on the gi'eat highroad of Germany, was indisputably 
the most conspicuous theatre from which the new 
doctrine could be declared. 

Rome began to be troubled. The master of the 
sacred palace, the aged Dominican Sylvestro de 
Prierio, wrote against the Austin monk, in defence 
of the doctrine of St. Thomas, and drew upon 
himself a furious and overwhelming reply (the end 
of August, 1518). Luther was immediately cited 
to appear at Rome within sixty days. The emperor 
Maximilian had recommended the papal court not 
to precipitate matters, promising to do whatever 
it should order with regard to Luther; but to no 
purpose. His zeal was somewhat mistrusted ; for 
certain speeches of his had travelled thither, which 
sounded ill in the pope's ears. " What your monk 
is doing, is not to be regarded with contempt," the 
emperor had said to Pfeffinger, the elector of Sax- 
ony's minister ; " the game is about to begin with 
the priests. Make much of him ; it may be that 
we may want him." More than once he had in- 
dulged in bitter complaints of priests and clerks. 
" This pope," he said, speaking of Leo X., " has 
behaved to me like a knave. I can truly say that 
I have never met with sincerity or good faith in 
any pope; but, with God's blessing, I trust this will 
be the last." This was threatening language ; and it 
was also recollected that Maximilian, by way of 
eflfecting a definitive reconciliation between the 
empire and the holy see, had entertained the idea 
of making himself pope. Leo X., therefore, took 
good care not to make him the umpire in this 
quarrel, which was daily growing into fresh 

All Luther's hopes lay in the elector's protec- 
tion. Either out of regard for his new university 
or personal liking for Luther, this prince had 
always taken him under his special protection. He 
had been pleased to defray the expenses of his 
taking his doctor's degree; and, in 1517, Luther re- 
turns thanks by letter for a present of cloth for 
a gown to keep him warm through the winter. 
Luther had little fear that the elector would be 
offended with him for an explosion, which laid all 
the blame at the door of the archbishop of Mentz 
and Magdebui'g, a prince sprung from the house of 
Brandenburg, and, consequently, the enemy of that 
of Saxony. Finally (and this was a powerful motive 
to inspire him with confidence), the elector had an- 
nounced that he knew no other rule of faith than 
the Scriptures. Luther reminded him of this in 
the following passage (March 27th, 1519): — 
" Doctor J. Staupitz, my true father in Christ, told 
me that, talking one day with your electoral high- 
ness of those preachers who, instead of declaring 
the pure word of God, preach to the people only 
wretched quibbles or himian traditions, you ob- 
served, that Holy Scripture speaks with such 
majesty and fulness of evidence as to need none of 
these weapons of disputation, compelling one to ad- 
mit, ' Never man spoke like this mau. He does not 
teach like the Scribes and Pharisees, but as one 
having authority.' And on Staupitz's approving 
those sentiments, you said to him, ' Your hand, then ; 
and pledge me your word that for the future you 
will preach this new doctrine.' " The natural com- 

plement of this passage occurs in a manuscript life 
of the elector by Spalatin: — "With what pleasure 
did he not listen to sermons and i-ead God s word, 
especially the Evangelists, whose beautiful and 
comforting sentences were ever in his mouth ! But 
that which he continually repeated was the saying 
of Christ, as recorded by St. John: ' Without Me 
ye can do nothing ;' and he used this text to combat 
the doctrine of free-will, even before Erasmus of 
Rotterdam had dared, in various publications, to 
maintain this wretched liberty against God's word. 
Often has he said to me, how can we have free will, 
since Christ himself has said, ^ Sine me nihil potest is 
faanx.' (Without me ye can do nothing )" It 
would be a mistake, however, to infer from this that 
Staupitz and his disciple were only instruments 
in the elector's hands. The Reformation introduced 
by Luther was clearly spontaneous; and the elec- 
tor, as we shall have occasion to see, was alarmed 
by Luther's boldness. He relished, accepted, took 
advantage of, the Reformation, but would never 
have begun it. On the 15th of February, 1518, 
Luther writes to his prudent friend, Spalatin, the 
elector's chaplain, secretary, and confidant: — 
'' Look at the clamourers who go about reporting, to 
my great annoyance, that all this is the work of our 
most illustrious prince. To hearken to them, it is 
he who has been egging me on, in order to spite the 
archbishop of Magdeburg and of Mentz. I beg 
you to consider whether it be worth while to apprize 
the prince of this. It distresses me exceedingly that 
his highness should be suspected on my account. To 
become a cause of strife between such great princes 
is enough to terrify one." And he holds the same 
language to the elector himself, in the account he 
sends him of the conference of Augsburg (Novem- 
ber). On March 21st he writes to J. Lange, sub- 
sequently archbishop of Saltzburg : " Our prince 
has taken me and Carlstadt under his protection, 
and this without waiting to be entreated. He will 
not allow of ray being dragged to Rome: this they 
know, and it is a thorn in their side." The inference 
would be, that Luther had already received positive 
assurance of protection from the elector. But, on 
the 21st of August, 1518, he writes to Spalatin in a 
more confidential letter: " I do not yet see how I 
can avoid the censures with which I am threatened, 
except the prince comes to my aid. And yet, I 
would rather endure all the censures in the world 
than see his highness blamed on my account. . . . 
The best step I can take, in the opinion of our wise 
and learned friends, is to ask the prince for a safe- 
conduct {salT^im, ut Tocant, conductum per suiim do- 
minium). I am sure he will refuse me; so that, they 
say, I shall have a good excuse for not appearing at 
Rome. Have the kindness, then, to procure me from 
our most illustrious prince a rescript, to the effect 
that he refuses to grant me a safe-conduct, and 
leaves me, if I venture on the journey, to my own 
risk and peril. You will be doing me a most im- 
portant service; but it must be done quickly, for 
time presses, and the day appointed is at hand." 
Luther might have spared himself the trouble of 
writing this letter, since the prince, though he did 
not apprize him of it, was busied providing for his 
safety. He had managed that Luther should be 
examined by a legate in Germany, in the free city 
of Augsburg, where he himself happened to be at 
this very moment, no doubt to concert measures 
with the magistracy for the security of Luther's 



A.D. 1517—1521. 

person in this dangei'ous interview. No doubt it is 
to the fact of this invisible providence's watching 
over Luther that we must attribute the restless care 
of those said magistrates to pi'eserve him from any 
ambush the Italians might lay for him. For his 
own part, in his courage and simplicity he went 
straight forward, without clearly knowing what the 
prince would, or would not, do in his favour (Sept. 2). 
" I have said, and I repeat, tliat I do not want our 
prince, who is innocent of the whole afialr, to take 
the slightest step in defence of my propositions. . . 
Let him secui'e me from violence, if he can do so 
without compromising his interests; if he cannot, I 
am ready to face all the danger." 

Caietauo de Vio, the legate, was certainly a judge 
not much to be feared. He had himself written 
that it was lawful to interpret Scripture without 
following the torrent of the fathers {contra torren- 
tem SS. patrum). This and other daring opinions 
had rendered him somewhat amenable to the sus- 
picion of heresy. But, selected by the pope to 
compose this difference, he set about his business 
like a politician, and only attacked that part of 
Luther's doctrine which shook the political and 
fiscal power of tlie court of Rome; keeping to the 
practical question of the treasure of indulgences, with- 
out recurring to the speculative question of grace. 
" When I was cited to Augsburg, I obeyed the 
summons, but with a strong guard, and under the 
guarantee of Frederick, elector of Saxony, who had 
commended me to the authorities of Augsburg. 
They were exceedingly watchful over me, and 
warned me not to trust mj'self to the Italians, and 
to eschew all companionship with them. I did not 
know, they said, what a Goth was. I remained 
at Augsburg for three whole days without any safe- 
conduct from the emperor ; during which interval 
an Italian often came to invite me to visit the 
cardinal, being discouraged by no refusal. ' You 
ought to retract,' he would say; 'you have but to 
utter one word, rewco. The cardinal will report 
favourably of you, and you will return with honour 
to your prince.' " Amongst other instances which 
he adduces in order to persuade him, was that of 
the famous Joachim de Flores, who, since he made 
his submission, was not heretical, although he had 
advanced heretical propositions. 

" At the end of three days the bishop of Trent 
arrived, who showed the cardinal a safe-conduct 
from the empei-or. On this I waited upon him 
with all humility. I sank at first on my knees, 
then abased myself to the ground, and so remained 
at his feet, nor did I rise until tln'ice ordered. He 
was exceedingly pleased, and conceived the hope 
that I should alter my resolution. The follow- 
ing day, when I positively refused to retract 
any thing, he asked me, ' Do you think the pope 
really minds Germany ? Do you believe the 
princes will go to war in your defence ? Oh, no ! 

Where will you find a resting-place?' 

' Under heaven,' was my answer. The pope 
subsequently lowered his tone, and wrote to the 
Church, and even to master Spalatin and Pfeffin- 
ger, begging them to give mo up to him, and to 
insist on the execution of his decree. Meanwhile, 
my little book and my Resolutions went, or rather 
flew, in a few days, over all Europe. And so the 
elector of Saxony was confirmed and fortified. He 
would not carry the pope's orders into effect, and 
submitted himself to the cognizance of Scripture. 

Had the cardinal conducted himself with more 
sense and discretion towards me, had he welcomed 
me when I fell at his feet, matters would never 
have gone so far. For at that time I had but a 
faint notion of the papal errors. Had the pope 
been silent, I would readily have held my peace. 
It was then the style and custom of the court of 
Rome for the pope to say, in knotty and obscure 
matters, — ' By virtue of our papal powers we call 
in this thing to oui'selves, annul it, and make it as 
if it had never been.' On which there only re- 
mained for both parties to weep. I wager the 
pope would give three cardinals to have the 
business still in the bag." 

The following details are from a letter which 
Luther wrote to Spalatin (that is, to the elector), 
while he was at Augsburg, and the conference 
going on (October 14th): — "For these four days 
the legate has been conferring with me, or rather, 
against me .... He refuses to dispute in public, 
or even in private, never ceasing to repeat, ' Retract, 
confess your error, whether you think it one or not; 
the pope will have it so.'. ... At last, he was pre- 
vailed upon to allow me to explain myself in writ- 
ing, which I did in the presence of the baron of 
Feilitsch, the emperor's representative; but then 
the legate would have nothing to do with what I 
had written, and again began to call for retractation. 
He favoured me with a long discourse which he 
had ferreted out of one or other of St. Thomas's 
romances, and thought he had conquered me and 
closed my mouth. Ten different times I tried to 
speak, but he stopped me each time, thundering 
and usurping the sole right of speaking. At length, 
I began to raise my voice in my turn : — ' If you can 
show me that this decree of your Clement VI. ex- 
pressly states that the merits of Christ are the 
treasure of indulgences, I retract.' God knows 
into what uproarious laughter they burst out at 
this. As for him, he snatched the book from me 
and turned breathlessly over the leaves (fervcns et 
anUelans) till he came to the passage where it 
is written that Christ, by his passion, has acquired 
the treasures, &c. I stopped him at this word has 
acquired, . . . After dinner, he sent for the reverend 
father Staupitz, and coaxed him over to induce me 
to retract, adding that I could not easily find any 
one better inclmed to me than himself." The dis- 
putants followed a different course; reconciliation 
became impossible. Luther's friend feared an 
ambush on the part of the Italians. He quitted 
Augsburg, leaving an appeal to the pope, when 
thoroughly cognizant of the cause, and addressed a 
long account of the conference to the elector. We 
learn from the latter, that in the discussion he had 
supported his opinions as to the pope's authority 
on the council of Bale, on the university of Paris, 
and on Gerson. He prays the elector not to give 
him up : — " May your most illustrious highness 
follow the dictates of your honour and conscience, 
and not send me to the pope. The man (Luther 
means the legate) has surely in his instructions no 
guarantee for my safety at Rome ; and for him to 
ask your most illustrious highness to send me 
thither, would be asking you to give up Christian 
blood, to become homicide. To Rome ! Why the 
pope himself is not in safety there. They have 
paper and ink enough there,and scribes and notaries 
without number, and ctm easily write word in what 
I have erred. It will be less expensive to proceed 

A.D. 1517—1521. 



against me, in my absence, by writing, than to make 
away with me, should I be present, by treachery." 
Tliese fears were well founded. The court of 
Rome was about to address itself directly to the 
elector of Saxony. It required Luther at any cost. 
Already the legate had complained bitterly to 
Frederic of Luther's presumption, and had be- 
sought him to send him back to Augsburg, or to 
banish him, if he would not sully his own glory, 
and that of his ancestors, by protecting this 
wretched monk. " I heard yesterday from Nurem- 
berg that Charles von Miltitz is on his way with 
three briefs from the pope (according to an eye- 
witness worthy of all faith), to seize and hand me 
over bodily to the pontiff. But I have appealed to 
the forthcoming council." It was full time for him 
to reject the pope, since, as the legate had informed 
Frederic, he was already condemned at Rome. 
Luther, in making this fresh protest, adhered 
strictly to all the juridical forms. He avowed his 
willingness to submit to the judgment of the pope, 
when thorouglily cognizant of the cause; but here 
the pope might err, as St. Peter himself had erred. 
He appealed to the general council, which was 
superior to the pope, from all the pope's decrees 
against him. But he was afraid of some sudden 
violence ; of being privily borne off from Wittem- 
berg. " You have been misinformed," he writes 
to Spalatin, " I have not taken my leave of the 
people of Wittemberg. I have used, it is true, the 
following or similar terms: — ' You are all aware 
that I am an uncertain and unsettled preacher. 
How often have I not left you without bidding you 
farewell ! Should this happen agam, and I not re- 
turn, consider that I have bid you farewell now," 
On December 2nd, he writes, " I am advised to ask 
the prince to shut me up a prisoner in some castle, 
and to be pleased to write to the legate that he has 
me in a sure place, where I shall be compelled to 
answer." He wrote on the lOth of the preceding 
month, "It is beyond all doubt, the prince 
and the university are with me. A conversation 
has come to my knowledge that took place concern- 
ing me at the court of the bishop of Brandenburg. 
Some one observed, ' He is supported by Erasmus, 
Fabricius, and other learned persons.' ' The pope 
would care nothing for that,' replied the bishop, 
' were not the university of Wittemberg and the 
elector, too, on his side.' " Yet Luther spent the 
latter part of this year (1518) in lively anxiety, 
and had some thoughts of leaving Germany. " To 
avoid drawing down any danger on your highness, 
I will quit your dominions, and go whithersoever 
God in his mercy shall conduct me, trusting, what- 
ever may befall, in his divine will. I therefore I'e- 
spectfully bid farewell to your highness; and among 
whatever people I may take my at)ode, I shall re- 
member your kindness with never-ceasing grati- 
tude." At this moment, indeed, he might consider 
Saxony an insecure abode. The pope was endea- 
vouring to win over the elector. Charles von Miltitz 
was commissioned to offer him the golden rose, a 
high distinction usually conferred by the court of 
Rome on kings only, as the reward of their filial 
piety towards the Church. This was a difficult 
trial for the elector; as it compelled him to come to 
a distinct explanation, and, perhaps, to draw down 
great danger upon himself. The elector's hesita- 
tion is apparent from a letter of Luther's: — "The 
prince was altogether against my publishing the 

acts of the conference of Augsburg, but after- 
wards gave me permission, and they are now print- 
ed. .. . In his uneasiness about me, he would pi-efer 
my being any where else. He summoned me to 
Litchenberg, where I had a long conference with 
Spalatin on the subject, and expressed my resolve, 
in case the censures were fulminated, not to stay. 
He told me, however, not to be in such haste to 
start for France." This was written on the 1 3th 
of December; on the 20th, Luther's doubts were 
past. The elector had returned for answer, with 
true diplomatic reserve, that he professed himself 
a most obedient son of holy mother Church, and 
entertained a great respect for the pontifical sanc- 
tity, but requii-ed an inquiry into the matter by 
disinterested judges; a certain means of ensuring 
procrastination, since, in the interim, incidents 
might occur to lessen or delay the danger. To 
gain time was every thing. In fact, the emperor 
died in the following January; the interregnum 
commenced, and Frederic became, by Maximilian's 
own choice, vicar of the empire until the hour of 
election. Feeling himself secure, Luther addressed 
(March 3rd, 1519) a haughty letter to the pope, 
but respectfully worded: — "Most holy father, I 
cannot support the weight of your wrath, yet know 
not how to escape from the burthen. Thanks to 
the opposition and attacks of my enemies, my words 
have spread more widely than I could have hoped 
for, and they have sunk too deeply into men's 
hearts for me to retract them. In these our days, 
Germany flourishes in erudition, reason, and genius; 
and if I would honour Rome before her, I must 
beware of retractation, which would be only sully- 
ing the Roman Church still further, and exposing 
it to public accusation and contempt. It is they 
who, abusing the name of your holiness, have made 
their absurd preaching subserve their infamous 
avarice, and have sullied holy things with the 
abomination and reproach of Egypt, that have 
done the Roman Church injury and dishonour 
with Germany. And, as if this was not mischief 
enough, it is against me, who have striven to oppose 
those monsters, that their accusations are directed. 
But I call God and men to witness, most holy 
father, that I have never wished, and do not now 
desire to touch the Roman Church or your sacred 
authority; and that I acknowledge most explicitly 
that this Church rules over all, and that nothing, 
heavenly or earthly, is superior to it, save Jesus 
Ciirist our Lord." 

From this moment, Luther had made up his 
mind. A month or two before, indeed, he had 
written, " The pope will not hear of a judge, and I 
will not be judged by the pope. So he will be the 
text, and I the gloss." In another letter he says 
to Spalatin (March 13), " I am in travail with St. 
Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, and am thinking of 
a sermon on the Passion ; whilst, in addition to my 
ordinary lessons, I teach children of an evening, 
and explain the Lord's prayer to them. Along 
with this, I turn over the decretals for matter for 
my new dispute, and find Christ so altered and cru- 
cified in them, that (hark in your ear) I am not 
sure that the pope is not antichrist himself, or the 
apostle of antichrist." However far Luther might 
go, the pope had henceforward little chance of 
tearing his favourite theologian- from a power- 
ful prince, on whom a majority of the electoi's 
were conferring the empire. Miltitz changed his 



A.D. 1517—1521. 

tone, and stated tliat the pope would even yet be 
contented with a retractation. He met Luther as 
a friend, flattered him, owned that lie had got the 
whole world with him away from the pope, stated 
that on his journey he could scarcely find two men 
out of five to defend the papacy, tried to persuade 
him to go and explain to the archbishop of Toledo, 
but could not prove that he was authorized to make 
this proposition, either by the pope or the arch- 
bishop. The advice was suspicious ; Luther was 
aware that he had been burnt in eifigy at Rome 
{ papyraccus Martinus in campo Florw publlce com- 
bustiii<, cxecratuf, derotus). He returned a cool reply 
to Miltitz, and apprized him that one of his envoys 
had inspired such suspicions, at Witteniberg, as to 
have narrowly escaped being thrown into the Elbe. 
" If, as you intimate, my refusal will compel you to 
come yourself, God gi'ant you a hapj^y journey. 
For my part, I am extremely busy, and have nei- 
ther time nor money for such excursions. Fare- 
well, excellent man." (May IJth.) On Miltitz's 
arrival in Germany, Luther had said that he would 
hold his tongue, provided his opponents would 
theirs ; but they released him from keeping his 
word, for doctor Eck solemnly defied him to a dis- 
putation at Leipsic, and the faculties of Paris, Lou- 
vauie, and Cologne, condemned his propositions. 
In order to make a decent appearance at Leijisic, 
Luther was obliged to ask the parsimonious elector, 
who had forgotten to clothe him for two or three 
years, for a dress ; his letter is a curiosity : " I 
beseech your electoral grace to have the kindness 
to buy me a white cope and a black cope. I hum- 
bly ask for the white one, but your highness owes 
me the black, having promised it to me two or 
three years back ; only Pfeffinger is brought to 
untie his purse-strings with such difficulty, that I 
have been forced to buy one for myself. I humbly 
pray your highness, who considered that the Psalter 
deserved a black cope, to deign not to think the St. 
Paul unworthy of a white one." Luther felt, by 
this time, so completely secure, that not content 
with repairing to Leipsic to plead in his own de- 
fence, he assumed the offensive at Wittemberg. 
" He had the effrontery," says his catholic biogra- 
pher, Cochlteus, " he had the effrontery, with the 
authority of the prince, his protector, to issue a 
solemn summons to the ablest inquisitors, meu 
who would think they could swallow iron and split 
the rock, to a disputation, and the prince not only 
offered them a safe-conduct, but undertook to lodge 
them and pay their expenses." Meanwhile, Lu- 
ther's principal opponent, doctor Eck, had re- 
paired to Rome to solicit his condemnation. Lu- 
ther was sentenced beforehand ; and it now only 
remained for him to judge his judge, and pronounce 
sentence of condemnation on authority, in the sight 
of the people. This he did in his terrible book on 
the Captivity of Babylon, in which he contended 
that the Church was captive, and that Jesus Christ, 
constantly profaned in the idolatry of the mass, and 
lost sight of in the dogma of transubstantiation, 
was the pope's prisoner. With daring freedom, he 
explains in his preface, how he has been gradually 
forced on by his adversaries ; " Whether willingly 
or not, 1 improve every day, pushed as I am, and 
kept in wind by so many masters of fence at once. 
Two years ago, I wrote ou indulgences ; but in a 
style which makes me deeply regret I ever pub- 
lished the work. At that period, I was still mar- 

vellously enamoured of the papal power, and durst 
not fling indulgences entirely over. Besides, I 
saw them approved of by numbers of persons, 
whilst I was the only one who undertook to set 
this stone rolling (Iwc xolvere saximi). Since then, 
thanks to Sylvester, and other brothers who have 
defended them stoutly, I perceived that the whole 
was an imposture, invented by the flatterers of 
Rome, to dispossess men of faith and take posses- 
sion of their purse. Would to God I could induce 
booksellers and all who have read my writings on 
indulgences, to burn them, and not to leave a line 
behind, so that they would substitute for all I have 
said ou the subject, this oi\e&xmn\—Indidijencesare 
bubbles devised by the sycophants of Rome ! Next 
Eck, Eniser, and their band, proceeded to take us 
in hand on the question of the pope's supremacy. 
'Twould be luigrateful towards those learned per- 
sonages not to acknowledge that the ti'ouble to 
which they put themselves was not thrown away 
upon me. Previously, I had denied that the pa- 
pacy was of divine, yet still admitted that it was of 
human, right ; but, after hearing and reading the 
super-subtle subtleties on which these poor people 
found the rights of their idol, I came to the perfect 
and satisfactory understanding and conviction, that 
the I'eign of the pope is that of Babylon, and of 
Nimrod, the mighty hunter. Wherefore, I earnestly 
pray booksellers and readers (that nothing may be 
wanting to my good friends' success), to commit to 
the flames my writings on this subject also, and 
to abide by the following axiom : — The pope is the 
mighty hunter, the Nimrod of the Roman episcopacy ! " 
At the same time, to make it clear that he was 
assailing the papacy, rather than the pope, he ad- 
dressed a long letter, in both languages, to Leo 
X., in which he denied all personal feeling against 
him. " Though surrounded by the monsters of 
the age, against whom I have been these three 
years struggling, my thoughts ought, once at least, 
most honourable father, to revert to thee. The 
witness borne to thy renown by men of letters, and 
thy irreproachable life, ought to place thee beyond 
all attacks. I am not such a simpleton as to blame, 
when all the world praises thee. I have called 
thee a Daniel in Babylon, and have proclaimed thy 
innocence. Yes, dear Leo, I think of thee as of 
Daniel in the pit, Ezekiel among the scorpions. 
What canst thou, alone, against these monsters ; 
thou, and some three or four learned and virtuous 
cardinals ? You would all infallibly be poisoned 
did you dare attempt to reform such countless cor- 
ruptions. . . . The doom has gone forth against 
the coiu't of Rome. The measure of God's wrath 
has been filled up ; for that court hates councils, 
dreads the name of reform, and fulfils the words 
uttered of its mother, of whom it is said, ' We would 
have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake 
Babylon.' Oh, hapless Leo, to sit on that accursed 
throne ! I speak the truth to thee, for I desire thy 
good. If St. Bernard felt pity for his pope Euge- 
nius, what must be our feelings now that corrup- 
tion is three hundred years the worse \ Ay, thou 
wouldst thank me for thy eternal salvation, were I 
once able to dash in pieces this dungeon, this hell 
in which thou art held captive." 

When the bull of condemnation reached Ger- 
man}', the whole people was in commotion. At 
Erfurth the students took it out of the booksellers' 
shops, tore it in pieces, and threw it into the 

A.D. 1517—1521. 



river with the poor pun, " A bubble {bulla) it is, 
and as a bubble so it should swim." Luther in- 
stantly published his pamphlet, Aija'mst the Exe- 
crable Bull of Antichrist. On December 10, 1520, 
he burnt it at the city gates, and on the same day 
wrote to Spalatin, through whom he usually com- 
mimicated with the elector: — " This lOth day of 
December, in the year 1520, at the ninth hour of 
the day, were burnt at Wittemberg, at the east 
gate, near the holy cross, all the pope's books, the 
Decree, the DecreXals, the Extravagante of Clement 
VI., Leo X.'s last bull, the Amjelic Sum, Eck's 
Chri/soprasus, and some other works of Eck's and 
Eraser's. Is not this news ?" He says in the 
public notice which he caused to be di-awn up of 
these proceedings, " If any one ask me why I 
have done this, my reply is, that it is an ancient 
practice to burn bad books. The apostles burnt 
five thousand deniers' worth of them." The tra- 
dition runs that he exclaimed on throwing the 
book of the Decretals into the flames, " Thou hast 
tormented the Lord's holy one, may the everlasting 
fire torment and consume thee !" These things 
were news, indeed, as Luther said. Until then, 
most sects and heresies had sprung up in secret, 
and conceived themselves fortunate if they re- 
mained unknown ; but now a monk starts up who 
treats with the pope as equal with equal, and con- 
stitutes himself the judge of the head of the 
Church. The chain of tradition is broken, unity 
shattered, the i-obe icithout seam rent. It must not 
be supposed that Luther himself, with all his 
violence, took this last step without pain. It was 
uprooting from his heart by one pull the whole of 
the venerable past in which he had been cradled. 
It is true that he believed he had retained the 
Scriptures for his own ; but then they were the 
Scriptures with a different interpretation from 
what had been put upon them for a thousand 
years. All this his enemies have often said ; but 
not one of them has said it more eloquently than 
he himself. " No doubt," he writes to Erasmus in 
the opening of his sorry book, De Servo Arbitrio 
(The Will not Free), "no doubt you feel some 
hesitation when you see arrayed before you so 
numerous a succession of learned men, and the 
unanimous voice of so many centuries illustrated 
by deeply read divines, and by great martyrs, 
glorified by numerous miracles, as well as more 
recent theologians and countless academies, coun- 
cils, bishops, pontiffs. On this side are found 
erudition, genius, numbers, greatness, loftiness, 
power, sanctity, miracles, and what not beside ? 
On mine, Wickliff, Laurentius Valla, Augustin, 
(although you forget him,) and Luther, a poor 
man, a mushroom of yestei'day, standing alone 
with a few friends, without such enidition, genius, 
numbers, greatness, sanctity, or miracles. Take 
them all together, they could not cure a lame 
horse. . . . Et alia qua! tu lolurlma fando enume- 
rare rales (and innumerable other things you 
could mention). For what are we ? What the 
wolf said of Philomel, Vox et praterea nihil (a 
sound, no more). I own, my dear Erasmus, you 
are justified in hesitating before all these things ; 
ten years siuee, I hesitated like you. . . . Could I 
suppose that this Troy, which had so long vic- 
toriously resisted so many assaults, would fall in 
one day ? I solemnly call God to witness that 1 
should have continued to fear, and should even 

now be hesitating, had not my conscience and the 
truth compelled me to speak. You know tliat my 
heart is not a rock; and had it been, yet beateii 
by such billows and tempests, it would have been 
shivered to atoms when all this mass of authority 
was launched at my head, like a deluge ready 
to overwhelm me." Elsewhere he writes : " . . . 
Holy Scripture has taught me how perilous and 
fearful it is to raise one's voice in God's church, 
to speak in the midst of those who will be your 
judges, when, on the day of judgment, you shall 
find yourself in presence of God, under the eye of 
the angels, all creation seeing, listening, lianging 
upon the divine word. Assuredly when this 
thought rises to my mind, my earnest desire is 

for silence, and the sponge for my writings 

How hard, how fearful to live to render an 
account to God of every idle word * !" On March 
27, 1510, he writes, "I was alone, and hurried 
unpre])ared into this I admitted many 
essential points in the pope's favcjur, for was I, a 
poor, miserable monk, to set myself up against the 
majesty of the pope, before whom the kings of the 
earth (what do I say ? earth itself, hell, and 
heaven) trembled ? . . . How I suffered the first 
and second year. Ah ! little do those confident 
spirits who since then have attacked the pope so 
proudly and presumptuously, know of the de- 
jection of spirits, not feigned and assumed, but too 
real, or rather the despair which I went through. 
. . . Unable to find any light to guide me in dead 
or mute teachers (I mean the writings of theo- 
logians and jurists), I longed to consult the living 
council of the churches of God, to the end that if 
any godly persons could be found, illumined by 
the Holy Ghost, they would take compassion on 
me, and be pleased to give me good and safe 
counsel for my own welfare and that of all Christen- 
dom ; but it was impossible for me to discover 
them. I saw only the pope, the cardinals, bishops, 
theologians, canonists, monks, priests ; and it was 
from them I expected enlightenment. For I had so 
fed and saturated myself with their doctrine, 
that I was unconscious whether I were asleep or 
awake. . . . Had I at that time braved the pope 
as I now do, I should have looked for the earth 
instantly to open and swallow me up alive, like 
Korah and Abiram. ... At the name of the 
church I shuddered, and offered to give way. In 
1518, I told cardinal Caietano, at Augsburg, that 
I would thenceforward be mute ; only praying 
him, in all humility, to impose the same silence on 
my advei'saries, and hush their clamours. Far 
from meeting my wishes, he threatened to con- 
demn every thing I had taught, if I would not 
retract. Now I had already published the Cate- 
chism to the edification of many souls, and was 
bound not to allow it to be condemned. ... So I 
was driven to attempt what I considered to be the 
greatest of evils. . . . But it is not my object to 
tell my history here ; but only to confess my folly, 
ignorance, and weakness, and to awe, by reciting 

" It is curious to compare these words of Luther's with 
the very different passage in Rousseau's Confessions : — 
"Let the trumpet of the last iudgment sound when it will, 
I will present myself with this book in my hand before the 
Judge of all, and will say aloud, ' Here is what 1 have done, 
what I have thought, what I was.' .... and then let any 
one say, if he dare, ' 1 was better than that man.'" 



A.D. 1517— 152L 

my own sufferings, those presumptuous bawlers 
or scribblers, who have not borne the cross, or 
known the temptations of Satan. . . ." 

Against the tradition of the middle age and the 
authority of the church, Luther sought a refuge in 
the Scriptures, anterior to tradition, and superior 
to the church herself. He translated the Psalms, 
and wrote his Postils to the Gospels and Epistles. 
At no other period of his life did he so approximate 
to mysticism. He took his stand at this time on St. 
John no less than on St. Paul, and seemed on the 
point of running through all the stages of the doc- 
trine of love, without any misgivings of the fatal 
consequences which resulted thence to man's 
liberty and morality. There are, he lays it down in 
his work on Christian Liberty, two men in man— the 
inner man, the soul, the outward man, the body ; 
each distinct from the other. As works proceed 
from the outward man, their effects cannot affect the 
soul: if the body frequent profane places, eat, 
drink, pray not with the lips, and neglect ail tlie 
hypocrites do, the soul will remain imaffected. The 
soul is united by faith to Christ, as the wife to her 
husband. All is, then, in common between the two, 

the good as well as evil We, who believe in 

Christ, are all kings and pontiffs. Raised by his 
faith above everything, the Christian becomes, by 
this spiritual power, lord of all things, so that 
nothino- can injure him, i»Bo omnia ei subjecta cogun- 
tiir senlre ad salutem (rather, all things are subject 
to him and compelled to minister to his salvation). 
.... If I believe, all things, good and bad, turn 
to my profit. This is the inestimable power and 
liberty of the Christian. " If yon feel your heart 
hesitate and doubt, it is high time for you to repair 
to the priest, and seek absolution for your sins. 
You ought to prefer dying a thousand times to 
doubting the judgment of the priest, which is the 
judgment of God; and, if you can believe in this 
judgment, your heart ought to laugh with joy, and 
laud God, who, through man's intermediation, has 
comforted thy conscience. If you think yourself 
unworthy of pardon, it is because you have not yet 
done enough, because you are too little instructed in 
faith, and more than it needeth in works. It is a 
thousand times more important to believe piously 
in absolution than to be worthy of it and make 
atonement. Faith renders you worthy, and consti- 
tutes the true atonement. Man who, without this, 
through the mere restlessness of his heart, never per- 
forms any good work, can then serve his God joy- 
fully; and this is what is called the sweet burden of 
our Lord, Jesus Christ." (Sermon on Justification, 
preached at Leipsic in 1519.) This dangerous doc- 
trine was welcomed by the people and by the 
majority of the learned. Erasmus, the most cele- 
brated of the latter, seems to have been the only 
one who perceived its consequences. Of a critical 
and negative cast of genius, emulating the Italian 
bel esprit, Laurentius Valla, who had written a work, 
De Libera Arbitrw (on Free-will), in the fifteenth 
century, he himself wrote against Luther under the 
same title. In 1519, he received the advances of 
the monk of Wittemberg coldly. Luther, who felt 
how necessary the support of the learned was to 
him, had written complimentary letters (a.d. 1518, 
1519) toReuchlin and Erasmus, which last returned 
a cold and highly significant answer (a.d. 1519): 
" I reserve all my powers to contribute to the re- 
vival of elegant literature; and it strikes me that 

greater progress is to be made by politic modera- 
tion {modestia civUi) than by passion. It is thus 
that Christ has brought the world to be subject 
unto him, and thus that Paul abolished the Judaic 
law, by applying himself to the interpretation of the 
letter. It is better to exclaim against such as abuse 
the power given to priests than the priests them- 
selves; and so, likewise, with regard to kings. 
Instead of bringing the schools into contempt, it 
would be well to win them back to healthier studies. 
Whenever the question is of things too deeply 
rooted in the mind to be eradicated by one pull, 
discussion and close and cogent reasoning are to be 
preferred to affirmations. . . . And it is essential 
to be on one's guard against saying or doing any- 
thing with an arrogant or rebellions air; such, in 
my opinion, is the course of proceeding consonant 
to the spirit of Christ. But I do not say this by way 
of teaching you what you ought to do; only to en- 
courage you to go on as you are now doing." Such 
timid precautions suited neither the man nor the 
hour. Enthusiasm was at its height. Nobles and 
people, castles and free towns, rivalled each other in 
zeal and enthusiasm for Luther. At Nurembnrg, 
at Strasburg, and even at Mentz, his smallest pam- 
phlets were emulously caught up as fast as they ap- 
peared. The sheets were hurried and smuggled 
into the shops, all wet from the press, and were 
greedily devoured by the aspiring litterateurg of the 
German Companionship, by the poetic tinmen, the 
learned cordwainers: the good Hans-Sachs shook off 
his wonted vulgarity, left his shoe unfinished, wrote 
his best verses, his best production, and sang with 
bated voice the mgJttinfjale of Wittemberg, whose 
voice resounded every where. . . . Nothing seconded 
Luther more powerfully than the zeal of the printers 
and booksellers in behalf of the new ideas. " The 
works which were favourable to him," says a con- 
temporary, " were printed by the printers with 
minutest care, and often at their own expense, and 
large numbers of copies struck off. Many old 
monks, too, who had returned to a secular life, lived 
on Luther's works, and hawked them throughout 
Germany. The Catholics could only get their works 
printed by high pay, and even then they were printed 
in so slovenly a manner as to swarm with errors, so 
as to seem the pi'oductions of illiterate men. And 
if any printer, more conscientious than the rest, did 
them more justice, he was jeered and plagued in 
the market-places and at the fairs of Frankfort, for 
a Papist and a slave to the priests." 

Whatever the zeal of the cities, it was to the 
nobles that Luther had chiefly appealed, and they 
answered his summons with a zeal, which he him- 
self was often obliged to moderate. In 1519, 
he published in Latin a Defence of the articles 
condemned by the bull of Leo X., which he dedicated 
as follows, to the baron Fabian von Feilitzsch: — "It 
has struck me to be desirable, in future, to ad- 
dress you laymen, a new order of priests, and, 
with God's will, to make a happy beginning under 
the favourable auspices of your name. May the 
present work, then, commend me, or rather the 
Christian doctrine, to you and all the nobles." He 
was desirous to dedicate the translation of this 
work to Franz von Sickingen, and another to the 
count of Mansfeld, but he abstained, he says, " from 
fear of awakening the jealousy of many others, 
and, in particular, that of the nobility of Fran- 
conia." The same year he published his violent 

A.D. 1517—1521. 



pamphlet, To the Christian nobility of Germany, on 
the amelioration of Christianity. Foui' thousand copies 
were sold at ouce. The leading nobles, Luther's 
friends, were Sylvester von Schauenberg, Franz von 
Siekingeii, Taubenheim, and Uhnch von Hutten. 
Schauenberg had confided the education of liis 
young son to Melanchthon, and had ofi'ered to assist 
the elector of Saxony, arms in hand, should the 
elector be exposed to any danger in the cause of 
reform. Taubenheim and others sent Luther money. 
" I have had a hundred pieces of gold from Tau- 
benheim, and fifty from Schart, so that I begui to 
fear God's paying me here below ; but I have 
vowed that I will not be thus gorged, but will give 
back all." The Margrave of Brandenburg had 
begged a visit from him : Sickingen and Hutten 
promised him their support against all and sundry. 
"Hutten," he writes, " addz-essed me a lettei', in 
September, 1520, burmnij with wrath against the 
Roman pontiff, saying that lie will fall with sword 
and pen on the sacerdotal tyranny. He is "indig- 
nant at the pope's having attempted his life with 
both the dagger and the bowl, and has sunnnoned 
the bishop of JMentz, in order that he may send him 
to Rome bound hand and foot." He goes on to say, 
" You see what Hutten is seeking; but I would not 
have violence and murder employed in the cause 
of the gospel, and have written to this efl'ect." 
Meanwhile the emperor summoned Luther to appear 
at Worms before the imperial diet. Both parties, 
friends and enemies, were about to come into 
presence. " Would to God," said Hutten, " I 
might be present at the diet ; I would set things 
in motion, and would very soon excite a disturb- 
ance." On the 20th of April, he writes to Luther, 
" What atrocities are these I hear ! There is no 
fury comparable to the fury of these men. I 
plainly see we shall have to come to swords, bows, 
arrows, cannons. Summon up thy courage, father, 
laugh at these wild beasts. I see the number of 
thy partisans daily increasing ; thou wilt not lack 
defenders. Numbers have come to me, saying, 
' God grant he may not lose heart, that he may 
answer stoutly, that he may not give way to any 
fear!'" At the same time, Hutten sent letters in 
every direction to the magistrates of the towns, in 
order to strike a league between them and the 
nobles of the Rhine ; in other words, to arm 
them against the ecclesiastical provinces *. He 
wrote to Pirkeimer, one of the chief magis- 
trates at Nuremberg. " Cheer and animate your 
brethren; I am in hopes you will find partisans in 
towns which are inspired by the love of liberty. 
Franz von Sickingen is for us; he burns with zeal. 
He is saturated with Luther. I make him read 
his pamphlets at meal-time. He has sworn not to 
fail the cause of Uberty ; and what he has said, he 
will do. Preach him up to your fellow-citizens ; 
there is no greater soul in Germany." Luther 
had his partisans even in the assembly of Worms. 
Some one avowed in full diet an agreement to de- 
fend him, sworn to by four hundred nobles, adding 
Biintschuh, Buntschuh (the rallying cry, as will 
afterwards be seen, of the insurgent peasants). The 
catholics were not even very sure of the emperor. 
Hutten writes, whilst the diet is sittmg, " Ctesar, 
the report runs, has made up his mind to side with 

* See, In the Elucidations, the Dialogue of the Robbers, 
written by Hutten, in the view of combuiiug the nobles and 
the burgesses against the priests. 

the pope." The Lutherans mustered strong in the 
town, and among the people. Hermann Busch 
writes Hutten word that a priest came out of the 
imperial palace with two Spanish soldiers, to en- 
deavour to make a seizure of eighty copies of the 
Captivity of Babylon, which were on sale close to the 
gates of the palace, but that he was quickly obliged 
to fly back into the palace for safety ; still, in order 
to induce Hutten to take up arms, he goes on to de- 
scribe how the Spaniards caracole haughtily on their 
mules, through the principal thoroughfares of 
Worms, and how the intimidated multitude retire 
before them. 

Cochlasus, the catholic biographer of Luther, 
describes the reformer's journey in a satiric strain: 
— "A conveyance was prepared for him resembling 
a litter, and so closed in as to shelter him from the 
weather. He was surrounded by learned indi- 
viduals, the provost Jonas, doctor Schurff, Amsdorf 
the theologian, &c. ; and he was received wher- 
ever he passed by crowds of people. Good cheer 
reigned in the hostelries where he put up, and many 
a merry cup was quaffed, and even music heard. 
Luther himself, in order that he might become 
the cynosure of all eyes, played on the harp like 
another Orpheus, a tonsured and cowled Orpheus. 
And although the emperor's safe conduct set forth 
that he was not to preach by the way, he, never- 
theless, preached at Erfurth on Low Sunday, and 
published his sermon." This picture of Luther 
does not exactly' assimilate with that drawn by a 
contemporary shortly before the diet of Worms. 
" Martin is of the middle size, and so emaciated 
by care and study, that you might count every 
bone in his body. Yet he is still in the very prime 
of life. His voice is clear and penetrating. Power- 
ful in doctrine, admirably read in the Scriptures, 
almost every verse in which he has by heart, he 
has acquired the Greek and Hebrew languages, in 
order to be enabled to compare and form a judg- 
ment on the translation of the Bible. He never has 
to stop, having facts and words at will (sylva 
ingens rerborum et rerurn). His manners are 
agreeable and easy, untinetured by severity or 
pride; and he is even no enemy of the pleasures of 
life ; being lively and good humoured in society, 
and seeming everywhere quite at his ease and 
free from any sense of alarm, despite the 
dreadful threats of his adversaries. So that it is 
difficult to believe that this man undertakes 
such great things without the Divine protection. 
Almost the only thing with which the world re- 
proaches him is, being too bitter in retort, and, 
shrinking from no insulting expression." We are 
indebted to Luther himself for an admh-able ac- 
count of the proceedings at the diet; an account 
that, generally speaking, agrees with those given 
by his enemies. " When the herald delivered me 
the summons on the Tuesday in Passion-week, and 
brought me a safe-conduct from the emperor and 
several princes, the same safe-conduct was, on the 
very next day, the Wednesday, violated at Worms, 
where I was condemned and my works burnt. 
This news reached me when 1 w-as at Erfurth. 
The sentence of condemnation was already pla- 
carded in all the towns; so that the herald himself j 
asked me whether I was still minded to go to 
Worms ? Although full of fears and doubts, 1 
replied, ' I will go, though there should be there 
as many devils as tiles on the roofs !' Even on 



A.D. 1517—1521. 

my arriving at Oppenheim, near Worms, master 
Bucer met me, to dissuade me from entering the 
city. Sglapian, the emperor's confessor, had gone 
to him to beg him to warn me not to enter Worms, 
for 1 was doomed to be bm-nt there! I should do 
better, he said, to stay in the neighbourhood with 
Franz von Sickingen, who would gladly receive me. 
All this was done by these poor beings to hinder 
me from appearing ; since, had I delayed only 
three days, my safe-conduct would have been no 
longer available; they would have shut the gates, 
refused to Hsten to me, and have tyrannically con- 
demned me. But I went forward in the simplicity of 
my heart, and as soon as I was within sight of the 
city, wrote to inform Spalatin of my arrival, and 
ask where I was to put up. They were all 
thunder-struck at my unexpected an-ival ; for they 
had expected that their stratagems and my own 
terror would have kept me outside the walls. Two 
nobles, the lord of Hirsfeld and John Schott, 
fetched me, by the elector of Saxony's orders, to 
their own lodgings. But no prince called upon 
me; only some counts and nobles who had a great 
regard for me. It was they who had laid before 
his imperial majesty the four hundred charges 
against the clergy, with a petition for the reform 
of cleric 1 abuses, which, if neglected, they must, 
they said, take upon themselves. They all owe 
their deliverance to my gospel (preaching). The 
pope wrote to the emperor to disregard the safe- 
conduct, and the bishops egged him on to it; but 
the princes and the states would not consent, fear- 
ing the uproar that would ensue. All this greatly 
added to my consideration ; they must have stood 
in greater awe of me than I of them. Indeed, the 
young landgrave of Hesse asked to hear me, 
visited me, talked with me, and said, as he took 
his leave, 'Dear doctor, if you are in the right, 
may our Lord God be your aid.' As soon as I 
arrived, I wrote to Sglapian, the emperor's con- 
fessor, begging him to have the goodness to come 
and see me, as his inclination and leisure might 
serve. But he declined, saying that it would be 
useless. » 

" I was summoned in due form, and appeared 
before the council of the imperial diet in the Guild- 
hall, where the emperor, the electors, and the 
princes were assembled*. Doctor Eck, the official 
of the bishop of Treves, began, and said to me, 
« Martin, you are called here to say whether you 
acknowledge the books on the table there to be 
yours V and he pointed to them. ' I believe so,' I 
answered. But Doctor Jerome Schurif instantly 
added, ' Read over their titles.' When this was 
done, I said, ' Yes, these books are mine.' He then 
asked me, ' Will you disavow them V J replied, 
' Most gracious lord emperor, some of the writings 
are controversial, and in them I attack my adver- 
saries. Others are didactic and doctrinal; and of 
these I neither can nor will retract an iota, for it is 
God's word. But, as regards my controversial 
writings, if I have been too violent, or have gone too 
far against any one, I am ready to reconsider the 
matte'r, provided I have time for reflection.' I was 
allowed a day and a night. The next day I was 

* There were present at the diet, besides the emperor, 
six electors, one archduke, two landgraves, five margraves, 
twenty-seven dukes, and numbers of counts, archbishops, 
bishops, Sc; in all, two hundred and six persons. 

summoned by the bishops and others who were to 
deal with me to make me reti-act. I told them, 
' God's word is not mine, I cannot give it up; but 
in all else my desire is to be obedient and docile.' 
The margrave Joachim then took up the word, and 
said, ' Sir doctor, as far as I can understand, you 
will allow yourself to be counselled and advised, 
except on those points affecting Scripture ?' ' Yes,' 
I answered, ' such is my wish.' They then told me 
that I ought to defer all to the imperial majesty; 
but I would not consent. They asked me if they 
themselves were not Christians, and able to decide 
on such things ? To this I answered, ' Yes, pro- 
vided it be without wrong or offence to the Scrip- 
tures, which I desire to uphold. I cannot give up 
that which is not mine.' They insisted, ' You ought 
to rely upon us, and believe that we shall decide 
I'ightly.' ' I am not very ready to believe that they 
will decide in my favour against themselves, who 
have but just now passed sentence of condemnation 
upon me, though under safe-conduct. But look 
what I will do: treat me as you like, and I will 
forego my safe-conduct and give it up to you.' On 
this, baron Frederick von Feilitzsch, burst forth with, 
'And enough, indeed, if not too much.' They then 
said, ' At least, give up a few articles to us.' I an- 
swered, ' In God's name, I do not desire to defend 
those articles which do not relate to Scripture.' 
Hereupon, two bishops hastened to tell the emperor 
that I retracted. On which, the bishop *** sent 
to ask me if I had consented to refer the matter to 
the emperor and the empire \ I replied that I had 
never, and vvould never, consent to it. So, I held 
out alone against all. My doctor and the rest were 
ill-pleased at my tenacity. Some told me that if I 
would defer the whole to them, they would in their 
turn forego and cede the articles which had been 
condemned by the council of Constance. To all this 
I replied, ' Here is my body and my life.' 

" Cochlseus then came, and said to me, ' Martin, 
if you will forego your safe-conduct, I will dispute 
with you.' This, in my simplicity, I would have con- 
sented to, had not Doctor Jerome Schurff inter- 
posed, laughing ironically, with, ' Ay, forsooth, 
that's what is wanted. 'Tis not an unfair offer; who 
would be such a fool V . . . So I remained under 
the safe-conduct. Some worthy individuals, besides, 
had interposed with, ' How ? You would bear him 
off prisoner ? That can't be.' Whilst this was 
going on, there came a doctor from the margrave 
of Baden, who endeavoured to move me by high- 
sounding words. ' I ought,' he said, ' to do and 
sacrifice much for the love of charity and mainte- 
nance of peace and union, and to avoid disturbance. 
Obedience was due to the imperial majesty as to 
the highest authority, and all occasion of scandal 
in the world ought to be sedulously avoided ; conse- 
quently, I ought to retract. ' I heartily desire,' was 
my answer, ' in the name of charity, to obey and do 
everything in what is not against faith and the 
honour of Christ.' Then the chancellor of Treves 
said to me, ' Martin, you are disobedient to the im- 
perial majesty, wherefore you have leave to depart 
under the safe-conduct you possess.' I answered, 
' It has been done as it has pleased the Lord. And 
you, in your turn, consider where you are left.' 
Thus, I took my departure in my simplicity, without 
remarking or understanding all their subtleties. 
Then they put into execution the cruel edict of the 
law, which gave every one an opportunity of taking 

A.D. 1517—1521. 



vengeance on his enemy, under pretence of his 
being addicted to the Lutheran heresy; and yet the 
tyrants have at last been obliged to revoke all those 
acts of theirs. And it befel me on this wise at 
Worms, where, however, I had no other support 
than the Holy Ghost." 

Some other curious details occur in a more ex- 
tended account of the conference at Worms, written 
immediately after it, and, perhaps, by Luther, 
though he is spoken of in it in the third person: — 
" The day after Luther's arrival at Worms, at 
four o'clock in the afternoon, the master of the 
ceremonies of the empire, and the herald who had 
accompanied him from Wittemberg, came for him 
to his hostelry called The German Court, and led 
hira to the town-hall by secret passages, to escape 
the crowd whicli lined the streets. Notwithstand- 
ing this precaution, numbers hastened to the doors 
of the town-hall and ti'ied to enter with Luther, 
but were hindered by the guai'ds. Many climbed to 
the roofs in order to see doctor Martin. Wheu he 
entei-ed the hall, many nobles came up to him one 
after the other, with words of encouragement : 
'Be bold,' they said to him, 'speak like a man, 
and have no fear of those who can kill bodies, but 
who are powerless against souls.' ' Monk,' said 
the famous captain George Frundsberg, laying 
his hand on his shoulder, ' look to it ; you are 
about to hazard a more perilous march than we 
liave ever done. But if you are Ln the right road, 
God will not forsake you.' Duke John of Weimar 
had supplied him with the money for his journey. 
Luther replied both in Latin and in German to 
the questions put to him. He reminded the as- 
sembly at first that there were many things Ln his 
works w^hich had met with the approbation even 
of his adversaries, and urged that imdoubtedly 
it could not be this part which he was called upon 
to revoke. Then he went on as follows : ' The 
second portion of my works comprises those in 
which I have attacked papacy and the papists, as 
iiaving by false doctrine and evil life and examples 
afflicted Christianity both in the things of the 
body and those of the soul. Now, no one can 
deny, &c. . . . Yet the popes have themselves 
taught in their Decretals that such of the pope's 
constitutions as may be opposed to the Gospel or 
the Fathers, are to be considered false and of no 
authority. Were I then to revoke this portion, I 
should only fortify the pa])ists in their tyranny 
and oppi'ession, and open doors and windows to 
their horrible impieties. ... It would be said 
that I had recanted my charges against them at 
the order of his imperial majesty and the empire. 
God ! what a disgraceful cloak I should become 
for their perversity and tyranny ! The thii'd and 
last portion of my writings is of a polemical 
character. And herein I confess that I have often 
ween more rough and violent than religion and my 
/gown warrant. I do not give myself out for a 
y/ saint. It is not my life and conduct that I am 
discussing before you, but the doctrine of Jesus 
Christ. Nevertheless, I do not think that it will 
suit me to retract this more than the rest ; since 
here, too, I should only be approving of the 
tyranny and impiety which persecute God's peo- 
ple. I am only a man. I can defend my doctrine 
only after my divine Saviour's example, who, 
when smote by the servant of the high priest, said 
to him, ' If 1 have spoken evil, bear witness of 

the evil.' If then the Lord himself asked to be 
interrogated, and that by a sorry slave, how much 
more may I, who am but dust and ashes, and may 
well fall into error, ask to be allowed to justify 
myself with regard to my doctrine «... If Scrip- 
ture testimony be against me, I will retract with 
all my heart, and will be the first to cast my books 
into the flames. . . . Beware lest the reign of our 
young and much to be praised emperor Charles 
(who is, with God, our present and great hope) 
should so have a fatal beginning, and an equally 
lamentable continuance and end. . . . Therefore 
with all humility, I beseech your imperial majesty 
and your electoral and seignorial highnesses, not 
to allow yourselves to be indisposed towards my 
doctrine, save my advei-saries produce just and 
convincing reasons.' 

" After this speech, the emperor's orator started 
to his feet, and said that Luther had spoken 
beside the question, that what had been once 
decided by councils, could not be again handled as 
doubtful ; and that, consequently, all he was asked 
was to say simply and solely whether he retracted 
or not. Luther then resumed as follows : ' Since 
your imperial majesty and your higimesses ask 
me for a short and plain answer, I will give 
you one without teeth or horns. Except I can be 
convinced by Holy Scripture, or by clear and 
indisputable reasons from other sources (for I 
cannot defer to the pope only, or to councils which 
have so often proved fallible), I neither can nor 
will revoke anything. As it has been found im- 
possible to refute the evidences that I have quoted, 
my conscience is a prisoner to God's word ; and 
no one can be compelled to act against his con- 
science. Here I stand ; I cannot act otherwise. 
God be my aid. Amen !' The electors and states 
of the empire retired to consult on this answer of 
Luther's ; and, after long deliberation, selected 
the judge of the bishops' court at Treves to 
refute him. 'Martin,' he said, 'you have not 
answered with the modesty becoming your con- 
dition. Your reply does not touch the question 
propounded to yom . . . What is the good of again 
discussing points which the Church and the coun- 
cils have condemned for so many centuries ? . . . . 
If those who oppose the decrees of councils were 
to force the Church to convince them of their 
errors through the medium of books, there would 
be an end to all fixity and certainty in Christen- 
dom ; and this is the reason his majesty asks you 
to answer plainly yes or no, whether you will 
retract.' On this, Luther besought the emperor 
not to allow of his being forced to retract in oppo- 
sition to his conscience, and without his being con- 
vinced that he had been in ermr ; adding that 
his answer was not sophistical, that the councils 
had often come to contradictory decisions, and 
that he was ready to prove it. The official briefly 
answered that these contradictions could not be 
proved ; but Luther persisted, and offered to 
adduce his proofs. By this time it being dusk, 
the assembly broke up. The S|)aniards mocked 
the man of God, and loaded him with insults on 
his leaving the town-hall to return to his hostelry. 
" On the following day the emperor summoned 
the electors and states to take into consideration 
the drawing up of the imperial ban against Luther 
and his adherents ; in which, however, the safe- 
conduct was respected. 




A.D. 152L 

" In the last conference the archbishop of Treves 
asked Luther what he would himself advise in 
order to bring the matter to a conclusion. Luther 
replied, ' The only advice to be given is that of 
Gamaliel in the Acts of the Apostles, " If this 
counsel, or this work, be of men, it will come to 
nought ; but if it be of God, ye cannot over- 
throw it." ' Shortly after, the official of Treves 
called on Luther at his hostelry with the imperial 
safe-conduct for his return. It allowed him twenty 
days to reach a place of safety ; but enjoined him 
not to jireach, or otherwise excite the people on 
his journey. He left on the next day, April 2C, 
and was escorted by the herald on the emperor's 
verbal orders. When he reached Friedburg, 
Luther addressed a letter to the emperoi', and 
another to the electors and states assembled at 
Worms. . In the first, he expresses his regret 
at having been necessitated to disobey the empe- 
ror, adding, ' but God and God's word are above 
all men.' He likewise regrets his having been 
unable to obtain an examination of the evidences 
which he had drawn from Scripture, and states 
his readiness to present himself again before any 
other assembly that may be pointed out, and to 
submit himself to it in every thing without ex- 
ception, provided God's woi'd sustain no attaint." 
The letter to the electors and the states is to the 
same effect. To Spalatin he writes (May 14), 
" You cannot think how civilly the abbot of Hirs- 
feld received me. He sent his chancellor and 
his treasurer to meet us a long mile from his 
castle, and waited for us himself some short dis- 
tance from it with a troop of cavaliers to escort us 
into the city. The senate received us at the gate. 
The abbot treated us sumptuously in his monastery, 
and would make me he in his own bed. On the 
morning of the fifth day they forced me to preach. 
1 pointed out to them, but without avail, that 
they would lose their regales should the imperialists 
treat my preaching as a breach of faith, they 
having enjoined me not to preach on the road ; at 
the same time, I stated that I had never consented 
to tie up God's word, which wa^he truth. I also 
preached at Eisenach before a terrified clergyman 

and a notaiy, and witnesses who entered a protest 
against my proceedings, alleging fear of their 
tyi'ants as their excuse. So you may perhaps 
hear it said at Worms that I have broken my 
faith, but I have not. To tie up God's word is a 
condition beyond my power. Indeed, they thronged 
on foot from Eisenach to us, and we entered the 
city in the evening : all our companions had left 
in the morning with Jerome. For me, I crossed 
the forest to rejoin my flesh (his parents), and had 
just quitted tiiem, intending to go to Walter- 
hausen, when, a few moments after, I was made 
prisoner near the fort of Altenstein. Amsdorf, no 
doubt, was aware that I should be seized, but he 
does not know where I am kept. My brother, 
having seen the horsemen timeously, leapt from 
the carriage without leave-taking, and I have been 
told that he reached Walterhausen on foot that 
evening. As for me, they took off" my robe, and made 
me dress myself as a knight, and I have allowed 
my hair and beard to grow. You would have 
some trouble to recognize me, for it is a long time 
since I have been able to recognize myself. But 
here I am now living in Christian liberty, freed 
from all the tyrant's laws." 

Luther was conducted to the castle of Wart- 
burg, but did not clearly know to whom he was 
to attribute the mild and honourable captivity 
in which he was detained. Having dismissed the 
herald who escorted him a few leagues from 
Worms, his enemies have inferred that he was 
apprised of what was about to happen. His corre- 
spondence proves the contrary. A cry of grief, 
however, was raised throughout Germany. He 
was supposed to have perished, and pope and 
emperor were accused. In reality, it was the 
elector of Saxony, Luther's protector, who, taking 
alarm at the sentence launched against him, and 
unable either to support or abandon him, had 
devised this means of saving him from his own 
daring, and of gaining time while he strengthened 
his party. Hiding Luther was a sure way of 
raising the exaltation of Gei-many and its fears 
for the champion of the faith, to the height. 


A.D. 1521— 1528. 


A.D. 1521 — 1524. 

Luther's residence in the castle of wartburg. — 


Whilst all is indignation and rage at Worms, that 
the daring offender should have been allowed to 
escape, the time is gone by, and he soars invisibly 
over his enemies from the heights of the castle of 
Wartburg. Happy and safe in his dungeon, he 

can return to his flute, sing his German psalms, 
translate his Bible, and thunder at the devil and 
the pope quite at his ease. " The report gains 
ground," writes Luther, " that I have been made 
prisoner by friends sent from Franconia ;" and, at 
another time, " I fancy it was supposed that Luther 
had been killed, or condemned to utter silence, in 
order that the public mind might relapse under 
that sophistical tyranny which 1 am so hated for 
having begun to undermine." However, Luther 
took care to let it be known that he was still alive. 
He writes to Spalatin, " I should not be sorry if 
this letter were lost by some adroit neglect on your 

A.D. 152J— 1524. 



part, or on that of your friends, and should fall into 
our enemies' hands. Get the Gospel I send you 
copied out ; my writing must not be recognized." 
" It had been my intention to dedicate to my host, 
from this my Patmos, a book on the Traditions of 
men, as he had asked me for infcu-mation on the 
subject ; but I was restrained through fear of thus 

disclosing the place of my captivity I have had 

great difficulty to get this letter forwarded to you, 
such is the fear of my present retreat's being found 
out." (June, 1621.) "The priests and monks who 
played off their pranks whilst I was at large, have 
become so alarmed since I have been a prisoner, 
that they begin to soften the preposterous tales 
they have propagated about me. They can no 
longer bear up against the pressure of the increasing 
crowd, and yet see no avenue by which to escape. 
See you not the arm of the Almighty of Jacob in 
all that he works, whilst we are silent and rest in 
patience and in prayer ! Is not the saying of 
Moses lierein verified, ' Vos tacebitis, et Dominus 
pugnabit pro vobis' (The Lord shall fight for you, and 
ye shall hold your peace). One of those of Rome 
writes to a pewit * of Mentz, Luther is lost just as 
we could wish, but such is the excitement of the 
people, that I fear we shall hardly be able to escape 
with life, except we search for him with lighted 
candles, and bring him back." Luther dates his 
letters. From the region of the clouds ; From the re- 
gion of the birds; or else. From amidst the birds 
singing sweetly on tlt£ branches, and lauding God day 
and night, with all their strength; or again, From the 
mountain ; From the island of Patmos. It is from 
this, his wilderness {ex eremo mea) that he pours 
forth in his sad and eloquent letters the thoughts 
which ci'owd upon him in his solitude. " What 
art thou doing at this moment, my Philip ?" he 
says to ]\Ielanchthon ; " art thou not praying for 
me ? For my part, seated in contemplation the 
live-long day, 1 figure to myself the image of the 
Church, whilst the words of the eighty-ninth 
Psalm are ever present to me, ' Ntniquid tane con- 
stituisti omnes filios homimimV (Wherefore hast 
thou made all men in vain ?) God ! what a hor- 
rible spectre of God's wrath is this abominable 
reign of the antichrist of Rome ! I hate the hardness 
of my heart which does not dissolve in torrents of 
tears, mourning over the sons of my murdered 
people. Not one is found to rise up, take his stand 
on God's side, or make himself a rampart unto the 
house of Israel, in this last day of wrath ? Oh, 
papal reign, worthy of the lees of ages ! God have 
mercy upon us !" (May 12th.) 

" When I revolve these horrible times of wrath, 
ray sole desire is to find in my eyes floods of tears 
to bewail the desolation of souls brought on by this 
kingdom of sin and of perdition. The monster sits 
at Rome, in the midst of the Church, and gives 
himself out for God. Prelates flatter, soj)hists 
off'er him incense, and there is nothing which the 
hypocrites will not do for him. Meanwhile, hell 
makes merry, and opens its immense jowl : Satan 
revels in the perdition of souls. For me, I sit the 
day long, drinking and doing nothing. I read the 
Bible in Greek and in Hebrew. I shall write 
something in German on the liberty of auricular 

1 This name, applied to one of the dignitaries of the 
Church, reminds one of Rabelais' marvellous birds, the 
papcgots, evegots (pope-jays, bishop-ja3's), &c. 

confession. I shall also continue the Psalter, and 
the Commentaries {Postillas), as soon as the mate- 
rials I require are sent me from Wittembcrg, 
among others, the J/a</)!(^c((<, which I have begun" 
(May 24th). This melancholy solitude was full of 
temptations and troubles for Luther. He writes 
to Melanchthon, " Your letter has displeased me on 
two grounds : firstly, because I see that you bear 
your cross with impatience, give too much way to 
the aff'ections, and obey the tenderness of your na- 
ture ; and, secondly, because you elevate me too 
high, and fall into the serious error of decking me 
out with various excellencies, as if I were absorbed 
in God's cause. This high opinion of yours con- 
founds and racks me, when I see myself insensible, 
hardened, sunk in idleness ; grief ! seldom in 
prayer, and not venting one groan over God's 
church. What do I say ? my unsubdued flesh 
burns me with a devouring fire. In short, I who 
was to have been eaten up with the spirit, am de- 
voured by the flesh, by luxuiy, indolence, idleness, 
somnolency. Is it that God has turned away from 
me, because you no longer pray for me ? You 
must take my place ; you, richer in God's gifts, and 
more acceptable in his sight. Here is a week 
slipped away since I have put pen to paper, since I 
have prayed or studied, either vexed by fleshly 
cares, or by other temptations. If things do not 
go on better, I will to Erfurth without any at- 
tempt at concealment, for I must consult physi- 
cians or surgeons." At this time he was ill, and 
undergoing gi'eat pain ; but he describes his 
malady in too simple, rather gross terms, for 
us to translate them. His spiritual sufferings, 
however, were still more acute and were deeper 
seated (July 13th). " When I left Worms in 1521, 
was seized near Eisenach, and resided in my Pat- 
mos, the castle of Wartbui'g, I was in an apart- 
ment far from the world, and no one could approach 
me save two noble youths, who brought me my 
meals twice a day. They had bought me a bag of 
nuts, which I put in a chest. In the evening, wlieu 
I had gone to bed in the adjoining room and had 
put out the light, I thought I heard the nuts 
rattling against feach other and clicking against my 
bed. I did not trouble myself about the matter; 
but was awaked some time afterwards by a great 
noise on the staircase, as if a hundred barrels were 
being rolled from top to bottom. Yet, I knew 
that the staircase was so secured by chains and an 
iron door, that no one could ascend. I got up to 
see what it was, and called out, ' Is it you ?'.... 
Well! so be it. . . And I recommended myself to 
the Lord Christ, of whom it is written, Omnia 
siibjecisti pedibus ejus (Thou hast put all things 
mider his feet), as it is said in the eighth psalm, 
and returned to my bed. — Then, John von Ber- 
blibs' wife came to Eisenach, suspecting me to be 
in the castle and wishing to see me; but the thing 
was impossible. They put me in another part of 
the castle, and the lady in the room I had oc- 
cupied ; and so great was the uproar she heard in 
the night, that she thought there were a thousand 
devils there." 

Luther found few books at Wartburg. He set 
ardently about the study of Greek and Hebrew ; 
and busied himself with replying to Latomus's 
book, which he describes as " so prolix, and so ill- 
written." He translated into German Melanch- 
thon's Apology, in reply to the Paris doctors, and 



A.D. 1521 — 1524. 

added a commentary to it. He displayed, indeed, 
extraordinary activity, and, from his mountain 
height, inundated Germany with his writings :— " I 
have published a small work in reply to that 
of Catharinus, on Antichrist, a treatise in German 
on Confession, an explanation of the Ixvii. Psalm in 
German, an explanation of the song of the blessed 
Virgin Mary, in German, an explanation of the 
xxxvii. Psalm in German, and a letter of comfort 
to the church of Wittemberg. I have in the press 
a commentary in German, on the epistles and 
gospels for the year ; I have also finished a public 
reprimand to die cardinal of Mentz, for the idol of 
indulgences which he has just set up in Halle, and 
an explanation of the miracle of the ten lepers — 
all in German. I was boi*n for my Germans, and 
will serve them. I had begun from the pulpit at 
Wittemberg, a popular exposition of both Testa- 
ments, and had reached the xxxii. chapter of 
Genesis in the Old, and the coming of St. John the 
Baptist in tlie New; there I was stopped" (No- 
vember 1st). " I am all of a tremble, and troubled 
in conscience because, yielding at Worms to your 
advice and that of your friends, I allowed the 
spirit to wax weak within me, instead of showing 
an Elias to those idols. Let me but once again 
find myself in their presence, and they shall hear a 
far different tale" (September 9th). The allusion 
to the archbishop of Mentz, in the letter just 
quoted, deserves explanation. It is curious to note 
the energy exhibited by Luther in this transaction, 
and how he treats the powers, the cardinal arch- 
bishop, and the elector himself, as their master. 
Spalatin had written to beg him to suppress his 
public reprimand to the archbishop. Luther re- 
plies, " I think I never received a letter so dis- 
tasteful to me as your last. Not only have I 
deferred answering it, but I had even made up my 
mind not to answer it. In the first place, I will 
not endure your telling me, that the prince mil not 
alloie of any writing against the people of Mentz, and 
of the public peace being disturbed. I would annihilate 
(fierdam) you all sooner, you, the archbishop, and 
every living being. You say, rightly enough, that the 
pubhc peace ought not to be disturbed; aud you will 
allow God's eternal peace to be disturbed by such 
impious and sacrilegious works of perdition ? Not 
so, Spalatin , not so, prince ; for Christ's sheep's sake 
will I resist with all my strength this devouring 
wolf, as I have resisted others. I send you a book 
against him ; it was all ready when 1 received your 
letter, which has not induced me to change a 
word in it. I must submit it, however, to Phihp 
(Melanchthon) who is to make such alterations as 
he may think proper. Beware of not forwarding it 
to Philip, or of seeking to dissuade him ; the thmg 
is settled, you will not be listened to " (November 

Some days afterwards, he writes to the bishop 
himself — " This first aud faithful exhortation ,which 
I addressed to your electoral grace, having brought 
npon me your jeers and ingratitude, I addressed 
you a second time, offering to receive your insti-uc- 
tion and advice. What was your grace's answer ? 
— churlish and rude, unworthy of a bishop and of 
a Christian. Now, though my two lettei-s have 
been thrown away, I will not be disheartened, but, 
in obedience to the gospel, will address your grace 
a third warning. You have just set up again at 
Halle the idol which beguiles good and simple 

Christians of their money and their souls, and you 
have thus publicly avowed that all which Tetzel did 
was done in concert with the archbishop of Mentz. 

This same God still lives, doubt it not, and 

can still withstand a cardinal of Mentz, though the 
latter had four emperors on his side. It is His 
pleasure to break the cedars, and to lower haughty 
and hardened Pharaohs. 1 beseech your grace not 
to tempt this God. Did you think that Luther was 
dead ? Believe it not. He is protected by that 
God, who has already humbled the pope, aud is 
ready to begin such a game with the archbishop of 

Mentz, few have any idea of. Given 

from my wilderness, the Sunday after St. Catherine's 
day (November 25, 1521 ). Your well-wisher and 
servant, Martin Luther." 

To this, the cardinal replied humbly, and with 
his own hand : — " Dear Doctor, I have received 
your letter, dated the Sunday after St. Catherine's 
day, and have read it with all good-will and friend- 
ship. Still, its contents surprise me, as the matter 
which ltd you to write has been remedied long 
ago. Henceforward I will conduct myself,withGod's 
aid, as it becomes a pious Christian, and ecclesias- 
tical prince. I acknowledge that I stand in need 
of God's grace, and that I am a poor mortal, a 
sinner, and fallible, sinning and deceiving himself 
daily. I know that without God's grace there is no 
good in me, and that of myself I am but a worthless 
dunghill. Such is my answer to your friendly 
exhortation, for I entertain every desire to do you 
all manner of grace and good. I cheerfully bear 
with a fraternal and Chi'istian reprimand, and I 
hope that the God of mercy will endow me with 
his grace and strength, so that I may live accord- 
ing to his will in this and all other things. Given at 
Halle, St. Thomas's day (December 21st, 1521). 
Albertus, manit propria." 

The archbishop's chaplain and adviser, Fabricius 
Capito, in an answer to Luther's letter, had found 
fault with his asperity, and had said that the great 
ought to be tenderly treated, excuses made for 
them, and, at times, their faults even winked at. . . 
Luther replies: — " You require gentleness and cir- 
cumspection; I understaud you. But is there any 
thing in common between the Christian and the 
hypocrite? The Christian faith is a public and 
sincere faith; it sees and proclaims things as they 
really are .... My own opinion is, that every 
thing should be unmasked, that there should be no 
tenderness, no excuses, no shutting one's eyes to 
any thing, so that the truth may remain pure, 
visible, and open to the inspection of all. , . . 
Jeremiah (ch. xl.) has these words: ' Cursed be he 
that doeth the icork of the Lord deceitfully.' It is one 
thing, my dear Fabricius, to laud and to extenuate 
vice; another, to cure it by goodness and mildness. 
Above all, it behoveth to proclaim aloud what 
is just and unjust, and then, when the hearer is 
deeply impressed by our teaching, to welcome him 
and cheer him, despite the backslidings into which 
he may still lapse. ' Him that is weak in the faith re- 
ceive ye,' says St. Paul. ... I hope that I cannot 
be reproached with ever having failed in charity 
or patience towards the weak. ... If your cardinal 
had written his letter in the sincerity of his heart, 
O, my God, with what joy, what humility, would 1 
not fall at his feet! How unworthy should I not 
esteem myself to kiss the dust beneath them ! For 
am I aught else than dust and ordure ? Let him 

A.D. 1521—1524. 



receive God's word, and 1 will be unto him as a 
faithful and lowly servant. ... As regards those 
who persecute and condemn that word, the highest 
charity consists precisely in withstanding in every 
way their sacrilegious furies. . . . Think you to 
find Luther a man who will consent to shut his 
eyes, if he be only cajoled a little ?. . . . Dear 
Fabricius, I ought to give you a harsher answer 

than the present My love inclines me to die 

for you, but whoso touches my faith touches the 
apple of my eye. Laugh at or prize love as you like, 
but faith, — the word — you should adore and look 
upon as the holy of holies: this is what we require 
of you. Expect all from our love ; but fear, dread 
our faith. ... I forbear replying to the cardinal 
himself, since I am at a loss how to write to him 
without approving or blaming his sincerity or his 
hypocrisy: he must hear what Luther thinks 
through you. . . . From my wilderness, St. Antony's 
day" (January 17th, 1522)., 

The preface which he prefixed to his explanation 
of the miracle of the lepers, and which he address- 
ed to several of his friends, may be quoted here: — 
"Poor brother that I am! Here have 1 again 
lighted a great fire; have again bitten a good hole 
in the pocket of the papists; have attacked con- 
fession ! What is now to be done with me ? Where 
will they find sulphur, bitumen, iron, and wood 
enough to reduce this pestilent heretic to ashes. It 
will be necessary at the least to take the windows 
out of the churches, in order that the holy priests 
may find room for their preachings on the Gospel ; 
id est, for their reproaches and furious vociferations 
against Luther. What else will they preach to the 
poor people ? Each must preach what he can and 
what he knows . . . ' Kill, kill, they call out, kill this 
heresiarch, who seeks to overthrow the whole eccle- 
siastical polity, who seeks to fire all Christendom.' 
I hope that I may be found worthy of their pro- 
ceeding to this extreme, and that they will heap 
upon me the measure of their fathers. But it is 
not yet time; my hour is not yet come; I must first 
exasperate still more this race of vipers, so as to 
deserve to find death at their hands.". . . . Being 
hindered fi'om plunging into the mellay, he exhorts 
Melanchthon from the depths of his retirement: 
" Though I should perish it would be no loss to the 
Gospel, for you are now going beyond me ; you are 
the Elisha who succeeds Elijah, and is invested with 
double grace. Be not cast down, but sing at night 
the hymn to the Lord which I have given to you, 
and I will sing it likewise, having no other thought 
than for tlie word. Let him who is in the dark, 
be in the dark; let him who is perishing, perish; 
provided they cannot complain that we have failed 
in our duty " (May 26th, 1521). He was next 
pressed to solve a question which he had himself 
raised, and which could not be decided by theologi- 
cal controversies — that relating to conventual vows. 
The monks, from every quarter, desired the word 
that was to release them from their solitary cells, 
and Melanchthon shrunk from taking the respon- 
sibility upon himself; even Luther approaches the 
subject with hesitation: — " You have not yet con- 
vinced me that the priestly and monastic vow are 
to be regarded in the same light. I cannot but feel 
that the sacerdotal order, instituted by God, is free, 
but not the monastic; whose votaries have chosen 
their state and voluntarily offered themselves to 
God. I do not hesitate to say that such as have 

not attained, or who have just arrived at mar- 
riageable age, and who have entered these cut-throat 
dens, need have no scruple in leaving them; but I 
dare not say the same for those who are advanced 
in years, or who have long embraced the state. 
However, as Paul, speaking of priests, gives a very 
comprehensive decision, saying that it is the devil 
who has interdicted them mari-iage, and as the 
voice of Paul is the voice of the Majesty of 
Heaven, I nothing doubt that we ought openly to 
abide by the same; and so, although when they took 
the vow they bound themselves by this pi-ohibi- 
tion of the devil's, yet, now that they know to what 
they have bound themselves, they may confidently 
unbind themselves (August 1st). For my own 
part, 1 have often dissolved, without any scruple, 
vows contracted before the age of twenty, and 
would still dissolve such, because every one must 
see that they have been contracted without deliber- 
ation or knowledge. But those whose vows I so 
dissolved had not yet changed their state or habit; 
as to such as have already discharged in tlieir 
monasteries the functions of the sacrifice, I have 
as yet dared nothing. The vain beliefs of men 
still overshadow and perplex me" (August 6ih, 
1521). Sometimes, he feels more confident and 
speaks out plainly: — " As to monastic and priestly 
vows, Philip and I have conspired in right earnest 
to annihilate them. . . . Every day brings me such 
fresh proofs of the monstrosities arising from the 
accursed celibacy of the young of both sexes, that 
no words are more odious to my ears than the 
names of nun, monk, priest; and marriage seems to 
me a paradise even in the depths of poverty" 
(November 1st). 

In his preface to his work, De Votis Monasticis, 
written in the form of a letter to his father ( No- 
vember 21st, 1521), Luther says: . ... "I did 
not tm-n monk voluntarily. Terrified by a sudden 
apparition, surrounded by death, and conceiving 
myself summoned by Heaven, I made an incon- 
siderate and forced vow. When I told you this, 
you answered, ' God send it be not a vision of the 
devil's raising!' These words, as if God had 
spoken by your lips, sank deeply into me; but 1 
shut my heart, as much as 1 could, against you 
and your words. In like manner, when I sub- 
sequently objected your anger to you, you returned 
me an answer which struck me as no other speech 
has struck me, and which has remained graven on 
my heart. You said to me, ' Have you not also 
heard that you should obey your parents ? ' But 
I was obdurate in my devotional intent, and 
hearkened to what you said as being only of man. 
Still, at the bottom of my soul I could never 
despise these words." ... "I remember that when 
I had taken my vows, my father by the flesh, who 
was at first highly irritated, exclaimed when he 
was appeased, ' Heaven grant it be not a trick of 
Satan's!' a saying which has struck such deep 
root in my heart, that I never heard any thing 
from his mouth which I remember more tena- 
ciously. Methinks G<>d spoke by his lips." (Sep- 
tember 9th.) He advises Wenceslaus Link to 
allow the monks to quit their convents as they 
liked: — " I am certain that you will neither do nor 
suffer any thing to be done contrary to the Gospel, 
though the annihilation of all monasteries were to 
follow. I do not like the tumultuous rush out 
that I have heard of. ... . Yit I do not think 



A.D. 1521—1524. 

it good and convenient to call them back, although 
they have not acted well and suitably. You must, 
after the example of Cyrus, in Herodotus, allow 
those to leave who wish; but neither forcibly expel 

nor retain any one " He disj)layed similar 

tolerance when the inhabitants of Erfurtli pro- 
ceeded to acts of violence against the Catholic 
priests. At Wittemberg, Carlstadt soon fulfilled and 
even exceeded Luther's instructions. " Good God !" 
exclaims the latter, in a letter to Spalatin, " will 
our Wittemberg folk make even the monks marry! 
For my part, they will not get me to take a wife. 
Be on your guard against marrying, that you may 
not fall into the tribulation of the flesh." (August 

This hesitation and those precautions are clear 
proofs that Luther rather followed than led the 
movement, which was hurrying all minds out of 
the ancient ways. " Origen," he writes to Spa- 
latin, " had a separate lecture for the women; why 
should not Melanchthon try something of the kind? 
He can and ought, for the people are athirst and 
a-hungered. I am exceedingly anxious also that 
Melanchthon should preach somewhere, publicly, 
in the town, on holydays, after dinner, to supplant 
gaming and drinking. One would thus learn to 
restore hberty, and to fashion it on the model of 
the ancient Church. For if we have broken with 
all human laws and shaken off the yoke, shall we 
stop at Melanchthon's not being shorn and anointed, 
at his being married? He is veritable priest, and 
discharges the priest's office; except that office be 
not the teaching of the word. Otherwise, no more 
will Christ be priest, since he sometimes teaches 
in the synagogues, sometimes on board ship, some- 
times on the sea-shore, sometimes on the mountain: 
he has filled every part, in every place, at every 
hour, without ceasing to be himself. Melanchthon, 
too, should read the gospel to the people in Ger- 
man, as he has begun to read it in Latin, in order 
that he may thus gradually qualify himself for 
a German bishop, as he has become a Latin 
bishop." (September 9th.) Meanwhile, the emperor 
being taken up with the wars with the French 
king, the elector gained confidence, and allowed 
Luther a little more liberty : — " I have gone 
hunting these two days, in order to see what this 
yXvKVTnKpov (sweet bitter) sport of heroes is like. 
We caught two hares, and some poor wretched 
partridges : a fitting occupation for idle men. I 
theologized, however, in the midst of the nets and 
dogs : as much pleasure as the sight gave me, just 
as much was it for me a mystery of pity and of 
pain. What does the amusement image forth ex- 
cept the devil with his impious doctors as dogs; 
that is to say, the bishops and theologians who 
hunt these innocent little beasts. I was deeply 
sensible of the sad mystery shadowed forth in 
these simple and faithful animals. Take another 
more atrocious picture. We had saved a leveret 
alive. I had covered it up in the sleeve of my 
gown ; but leavmg it for a moment, the dogs found 
the poor thing, and broke its right leg and strangled 
it through the gown. It is thus that the pope and 
Satan rage to ruin even the souls that are saved. 
In short, I am sick of this sport. Methinks I 
should prefer piercing with darts and arrows 
bears, wolves, wild-boars, foxes, and the whole 

tribe of wicked doctors I write thus lightly 

to teach you courtiers, devourers of beasts, that 

you will be beasts in your turn in Paradise, where 
Christ, the great hunter, will know how to take 
and encage you. 'Tis you who are the sport while 
you are enjoying the sport of hunting." (August 
the 15th.) All thuigs considered, Luther was not 
dissatisfied with his residence at Wartburg, 
where, in his liberal treatment, he recognized the 
elector's hand. " The owner of this place treats 
me much better than I deserve." (June 10th.) 
" I do not want to be a burthen to any one. But 
I am convinced that I live here at the expense of 
our prince, otherwise I would not stay an hour 
longer. You know that if any one's money should 
be spent, it is that of princes." (August 15th.) 

At the close of November, 1521, his desire to see 
and exhort his disciples led him to make a short 
excursion to Wittemberg; but he took care that the 
elector should know nothing of it. " I conceal," he 
writes to Spalatin, " both my journey and my re- 
turn from him. For what reason ? You know it 
well enough." 

This reason was, the alarming character assumed 
by the Reformation in the hands of Carlstadt, of 
theological demagogues, of breakers of images. 
Anabaptists, and others, who began to start up. 
" I have seen the prince of those prophets, Claus- 
Stork, stalking about with the air and in the attire 
of those soldiers whom we call lanzkneclit; there was 
another, too, in a long gown, and Doctor Gerard, of 
Cologne. Stork seems to me cain-ied away by a 
fickleness of mind, which will not allow him to de- 
pend on his own opinions. But Satan makes him- 
self sport with these men." (September 4lh, 1522.) 
Still, Luther did not attach any great importance to 
this movement: " I quit not my i-etreat," he writes, 
" I budge not for these prophets, for they little 
move me.'' (January 17th, 1522.) He charged 
Melanchthon to try them; and it was on this occasion 
that he addressed to him the following fine letter: 
— (January 13th, 1522): "If you wish to put their 
inspiration to the proof, ask them whether they 
have experienced those spii'itual agonies and those 

divine births, those deaths and those hells 

If you hear only of sweet, and peaceful, and devout 
things (as they say), albeit they should profess to be 
caught up to the third heaven, sanction nothing of 
the kind. The sign of the Son of Man is wanting — 
the fidaavoQ (touchstone), the sole proof of Chris- 
tians, the rule which distinguishes minds. Do you 
wish to know the place, the manner, and the time of 
divine colloquies ? Listen : ' As a lion, so w'dl he 
break all my bones,' &c. ' Why easiest thou off my 
soul ? why hidest thou thy face from me ? ' &c. ' The 
sorrows of death comjxissed me, and the pains of hell 
gat hold upon me.' The Majesty of Heaven does not 
speak, as they pretend, immediately, and in sight of 
man: nay, 'No man shall see me and live.' There- 
fore, He speaketh by the mouth of men ; because we 
cannot all receive His word. The Virgin even was 
troubled at the sight of an angel. Hearken, also, to 
the cry of Daniel and of Jeremiah : ' Coi-rect me, but 
with judgment, not in thine anger.' " On January 
l^th he writes: ' Take care that our prince does 
not stain his hands with the blood of these new 
prophets. You must fight with the word alone, 
conquer with the word alone, destroy with the word 

what they have raised by force and violence 

I condemn solely by the word: let him who believeth 
believe and follow; let the unbeliever continue in 
his unbelief and go his way. No one must be forced 

A.D. 1521—1524. 



unto the faith or the things of the faith, but be pre- 
vailed upon by the word. I condemn images, but 
by the word; not that they may be burnt, but that 
no trust may be put in them." 

But things were taking place in Wittemberg 
which would not suffer Luther to remain longer in 
his dungeon. He set off witliout asking the elector's 
leave. A curious account of his journey is given by 
one of the historians of the Reformation: — 

" John Kessler, a young theologian of Saint-Gall, 
on his way with a friend to Wittemberg to finish 
his studies there, fell in one evening in an inn near 
the gates of Jena with Luther, who wore a riding 
dress. They did not know him. The horseman 
had a little book before him, which, as they saw 
afterwards, was the Psalter in Hebrew. He saluted 
them politely, and invited them to seat themselves 
at his table. In the course of conversation, he in- 
quired what was thought of Luther in Switzerland ? 
Kessler replied, that some did not know how to laud 
him enough, and thanked God for having sent him 
on earth to exalt the truth; whilst others, and espe- 
cially the priests, denounced him as a heretic who 
was not to be spared. From something which the 
innkeeper said to the young travellers, they took him 
to be Ulrich von Hutten. Two traders came in. One 
of them drew from his pocket, and put on the table 
by him, a newly-printed work of Luther's, in sheets, 
and asked if they had seen it. Luther said a few 
words about the indifference towards serious matters 
manifested by the princes at that time assembled at 
the diet of Nuremberg. He also expressed his 
hopes ' that the Gospel truth would bear more fruit 
in succeeding generations, which should not have 
been poisoned by the Papal error.' One of the 
traders said, ' I am unskilled in these questions; 
but, to my mind, Luther must either be an angel 
from heaven or a devil from hell; at all events, I 
will spend the last ten florins that I have saved up 
in going to confess to him.' This conversation took 
place during supper. Luther had settled before- 
hand with the hosteller to pay the reckoning of the 
whole company. When the party broke up, Luther 
shook hands with the two Swiss (tlie traders had 
been called away by their business), and begged 
them to bear his remembrances to Doctor Jerome 
Schurff, their countryman, as soon as they reached 
Wittemberg. And when they enquired whose re- 
membrances it was they were to bear, he replied: 
' Simply tell him that he who is to come salutes 
him; he will be sure to understand from whom the 
message comes.' When the traders returned, and 
learnt that it was Luther with whom they had been 
talking, they were in despair that they had not 
known it sooner, that they had not shown him more 
respect, and had spoken so sillily before him. The 
following morning they were up betimes, on purpose 
to see him before he left, and to tender him their 
most humble excuses. Luther only owned to its 
being himself by implication." 

On his road to Wittemberg he wrote to the 
elector, who had forbade him to leave Wartburg: 
" . . . . I do not hold the Gospel of men, but of 
Heaven, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and 1 might well 
have called myself his servant, and assumed the 
name of evangelist, as I intend doing henceforward. 
If I have sought to be examined, it is not that I 
doubted the goodness of my cause, but through de- 
ference and humility alone. Now, seeing that this 
excess of humility only depreciates the Gospel, and 

that the devil, if I yield an inch of ground, seeks to 
take possession of the whole, my conscience com- 
pels me to act differently. It is enough that, to 
pleasure your electoi'al grace, I have spent a year 
in retirement. Well does the devil know that this 
was through no fears of mine. He saw my heart 
when I entered Worms. Had that town been filled 
with devils I would joyfully have flung myself into 
it. Now, duke George cannot even pass for a devil ; 
and I leave it to your electoral grace whether it 
would not be offensive to the Father of all mercy, 
who bids us put our trust in Him, to fear the anger 
of this duke ? Did God summon me to Leipsic, his 
capital, as He summons me to Wittemberg, I 
would thither (forgive the silly expression) though 
it should rain Duke Georges nine days on end, and 
each nine times more furious than he. . . . He 
takes Jesus Christ, then, for a man of straw. The 
Lord may bear with this for a time, but not always. 
No more will I conceal from your electoral gx-ace 
that I have more than once besought God with tears 
to be pleased to enlighten the duke; and I will do 
so once more with all zeal, but it shall be for the 
last time. I also beg your grace's own prayers, 
and that you would order prayers to be put up, to 
the end that we may turn away from him, if God so 
please, that fearful judgment which, alas ! threatens 
him each day more nearly. I write this to apprize 
you that I am on my way to Wittemberg, under 
higher protection than that of the elector; so that I 
have no intention of asking your grace's support. 
Nay, I even believe that I shall be a better protec- 
tion to the elector than the elector to me; and did 
I think that I had to trust to him I should stay my 
steps. The sword is powerless here. God must 
act, without man's interference. He, in whom faith 
most abounds, will be the most efficacious protector; 
and, as I feel your grace's faith to be still weak, I 
can by no means recognize in yoyi him who is to 
protect and save me. Your electoral grace asksnie 
what you are to do under these circumstances, 
thinking you have done little hitherto ? I answer, 
with all submission, that your grace has done only 
too much, and that you should do nothing. God 
desireth not all this uneasiness and turmoil about 
His cause; but that we should ti-ust in Him alone. 
If your grace entertain this faith you will rcaj) 
peace and security; if not, I at least will rest in 
faith, and shall be obliged to leave to your grace the 
torment with which God punishes unbelievers. 
Since, then, I decline complying with your grace's 
exhortations, you will be justified befoi-e God if I 
am taken or am put to death. And, before men, 
it is my wish your grace should act as follows: — 
That you be obedient to authority like a good 
elector, allow the emperor to rule in his states con- 
formably with the laws of the empire, and forbear 
from resisting any power which shall attack my 
liberty or my life; for no one ought to disarm au- 
thority or resist it, save Him who has instituted it; 
else 'tis revolt, and against God. I only hope that 
they will have sense enough to discern that your 
electoral grace is too high in place to turn my 
gaoler; so that, if you leave the doors open and in- 
sist on the recognition of the safe-conduct, should 
they come to seize me, you will have satisfied the 
calls of obedience. On the contrary, if they arc 
unreasonable enough to order your grace yourself 
to lay hands on me, I will so manage that you shall 
suffer on my account no prejudice in body, goods, 



A.D. 1521—1524. 


or soul. I will explain myself, if necessary, more 
at length another time. I forward this, for fear of 
your grace's being distressed at hearing of my ar- 
rival; for, as a Christian, I ought to comfort every 
one and harm none. If your grace had faith, you 
would behold the wondrous doings of God; but if 
you yet have it not, you have yet seen nothing. Let 
us love and glorify God for ever. Amen. Written 
at Borna, with my guide by me. Ash Wednesday, 
(March 5th,) 1522. Your electoral grace's most 
humble servant, Martin Luther." 

(March 7th.) The elector had requested Luther 
to explain to liim his reasons for returning to Wit- 
temberg, in a letter which might be shown to the 
emperor. Luther, in his letter, gives three reasons: 
— The urgent entreaties of the Church of Witteni- 
berg; the confusion that arisen in his flock; 
and, thirdly, the desire to hinder, as far as in him 
lies, the outljreaks which he considers to be immi- 

"... My second reason for returning," he 
writes, " is, that during my absence Satan has 
entered my sheepfold, and has committed ravages 
which I can only repair by my own presence and 
lively word ; writing would have been useless. 
My conscience would not allow me to delay longer; 
I was bound to disregard not only your highness's 
favour or disfavour, but the whole world's wrath. 
It was my flock, the flock entrusted to me by 
God, my children in Christ Jesus ; I could not 
hesitate a moment. I am bound to suff'er death 
for them, and would cheerfully lay down my life, 
with God's grace, even as it is asked by Jesus 
Christ (St. John x. 11). Could my pen have 
remedied the mischief, wherefore should I have 
come ? Wliy not, if my presence were unneces- 
sary, have made up my mind to quit Wittemberg 
for ever ?" . . In the same month, soon after his 
retui'n to Wittemberg, Luther writes to his friend 
Hartmuth von Ivronberg. "... Satan, icho is ever 
bust/ amongst the children of God, as Job says 
(i. 6, 7), has just done us all, and me in particular, 
a grievous mischief. Not all my enemies, however 
near they have often been to me, have ever struck 
me such a blow as I have sustained at the hands 
of my friends. I am forced to own that the 
smoke from this fire offends alike my eyes and 
heart. ' 'Tis by attacking him on this side,' Satan 
has said to himself, ' that I can prostrate Luther's 
courage, and overcome his stubborn mind. This 
time he will not escape me.' . . . Pej-haps God 
designs to punish me by this stroke for having 
repressed the spirit within me at Worms, and 
spoken too gently to the tjTants. The pagans, 
it is true, have since then accused me of having 
shown pride. They know not what faith is. I 
yielded to the entreaties of my good friends, who 
would not liave me appear too unpolished ; but 
I have often repented of this deference and 
humility. . . I myself no longer know Luther, and 
wish not to know him. What I preach comes not 
from him, but from Jesus Christ. Let the devil 
fly away with Luther if he can, I care not, so 
long as he leaves Jesus Christ reigning in all 

About the middle of this year, Luther broke out 
with the greatest violence against princes. A 
great number of princes and bishops (amongst the 
rest, duke George), had just prohibited the trans- 
Jation which he was then publishing of the Bible; and 

the price was returned to such as had purchased it. 
Luther boldly took up the gauntlet so thrown down: 
— " We have reaped the first fruits of victory, and 
have triumphed over the papal tyranny, which had 
weighed down kings and princes; how much easier 
will it not be to bring the princes themselves to 
their senses ! . . . I greatly fear troubles arising, 
if they continue to hearken to that silly-pated duke 
George, which will bring ruin on princes and 
magistrates, over all Germany; and, at the same 
time, involve the clergy in a similar fate. Such 
is my view of the aspect of affairs. The people are 
agitated in all directions, and on the look-out. They 
will, they can no longer suffer themselves to be 
oppressed. This is the Lord's doing. He shuts 
the eyes of the princes to these menacing symptoms, 
and will bring the whole to a consummation, by 
their blindness and their violence. Methinks I see 
Germany swimming in blood! I tell them that the 
sword of civil war is hanging suspended over their 
heads. They are doing their utmost to rum Luther, 
and Luther dues his utmost to save them. De- 
struction is yawning, not for Luther, but for them ; 
and they draw nigh of themselves, instead of 
shrinking back. I believe the Spirit now speaks in 
me; and that if the decree of wrath goes forth in 
heaven, and neither prayer nor wisdom can avail, 
we shall obtain that our .Josiah sleep in peace, and 
the world be left to itself in its Babylon. — Although 
hourly exposed to death, in the midst of my 
enemies, and without any human aid, I have yet 
never so despised anything in my life as these 
stupid threats of prince George's and his fellows. 
The Spirit, doubt it not, will master duke George 
and his comrades in folly. I have written all this 
to you fasting, and at a very early liour, with my 
heart filled with pious confidence. My Christ lives 
and reigns; and I shall live and reign" ( March 19tli). 

About the same time, Henry VIII. published the 
work which he had got his chaplain Edward Lee to 
write, and in which he announced himself the 
champion of the church. 

" This work betrays royal ignorance, hut a viru- 
lence and mendacity as well, which are wholly 
Lee's " (July 22nd). Luther's reply came out the 
following year, and exceeded in violence even all 
that might have been expected from his writings 
against the pope. Never had any private man, 
before him, addressed a monarch in such contemp- 
tuous and audacious terms: — 

" To the words of fathers, men, angels, devils, I 
oppose, not ancient usage, or a multitude of men, but 
the word alone of the Eternal Majesty — the Gos- 
pel which they themselves are forced to recognize. 
On this, I take my stand ; this is my glory, my 
triumph ; and from this, I mock popes, Thomists, 
Henricists, sophists, and all the gates of hell. I 
care little about the words of men, whatever their 
sanctity, and as little for tradition and deceitful 
usage. God's word is above all. If I have the 
Divine Majesty with me, what signifies all the rest, 
even if a thousand Austin friars, a thousand Cy- 
prians, a thousand of Henry's churches, were to 
rise up against me ? God cannot eri", or be de- 
ceived ; Augustin and Cyprian, as well as all the 
elect, can err, and have erred. The mass conquered, 
we have, I opine, conquered the popedom. The 
mass was as it were the rock on which the popedom, 
with its monasteries, episcopacies, colleges, altars, 
ministers, and doctrines, on which, in fine, its whole 

A.D. 1521—1524. 



pauuch was founded. All this will topple down 
along with the abomination of their sacrilegious 
mass. In Christ's cause I have trodden under foot 
the idol of the Roman abomination, which had 
seated itself in God's place, and had become mis- 
tress of kings, and of the world. Who then is this 
Henry, this new Thomist, this disciple of the mon- 
ster, that I should respect his blasphemies and his 
violence ? He is the defender of the Church ; yes, 
of his own church, which he exalts so high, of the 
whore who lives in purple, drunken with debauch, 
of that mother of fornications. My leader is Christ ; 
and with one and the same blow, I will dash in 
pieces this Church, and its defenders, who are but 
one. My doctrines, I feel convinced, are of heaven. 
I have triumphed with them over him who has 
more strength and craft in his little finger than all 
popes, kings, and doctors, put together. My doc- 
trines will remain, and the pope will fall, notwith- 
standing all the gates of hell, and all the powers of 
the air, the earth, and the sea. They have defied 
me to war ; well, they shall have war. They have 
despised the peace I offered them ; peace shall no 
more be theirs. God will see which of the two will 
first have enough of it, the pope or Luther. Thrice 
have I appeared before them. I entered Worms, 
well aware that Caesar was to violate the public faith 
in my person. Luther, the fugitive, the trembling, 
came to cast himself within the teeth of Behe- 
moth. . . . But they, these terrible giants, has one 
single one of them presented himself for these 
three years at Wittemberg ? And yet they might 
have come in all safety, under the Emperor's gua- 
rantee. The cowards ! Do they dare yet to 
hope for triumph ? They thought that my flight 
would enable them to retrieve their shameful ig- 
nominy. It is now known by all the world ; it is 
known that they have not had the courage to face 
Luther alone" (a. d. 1523). 

He was still more violent in the treatise which 
he published in German on the Secular Power : 
" Princes are of the world, and the world is alien 
from God ; so that they live according to the 
world, and against God's law. Be not surprised 
then by their furious raging against the Gospel, 
for they cannot but follow the laws of their own 
nature. You must know, that from the beginning 
of the world, a wise prince has been rare ; still 
more, an honest and upright prince. They are 
generally great fools, or wicked castaways {maxime 
fatui, pessimi nebulones super terrain). And so the 
worst is always to be expected from them, and 
scarcely ever good ; especially when the salvation 
of souls is concerned. They serve God as lictors 
and executioners, when he desires to chastise the 
wicked. Our God is a powerful King, and must 
have noble, illustrious, rich executioners and lic- 
tors, such as they, and wills them to have riches 
and honours in abundance, and to be feai'ed of all. 
It is his divine pleasure that we style his exe- 
cutioners merciful lords, that we prostrate our- 
selves at their feet, that we be their most humble 
subjects. But these very executioners do not 
push the trick so far, as to desire to become good 
pastors. If a prince be wise, upright, a Christian, 
it is a great miracle, a precious sign of divine 
favour ; for, commonly, it happens as with the 
Jews, to whom God said, ' I will give thee a king 
in my anger, and take him away in my wrath' 
{Dabo tibi regem in furore meo, et auferam in in- 

dignation med). Aud look at our Chrisuan 
princes who protect the faith, and devour the 
Turk. . . . Good people, trust not to them. In 
their great wisdom, they are about to do some- 
thing ; they are about to break their necks, and 
precipitate nations into disasters and misery. . . . 
Now 1 will make the blind to see, in order that 
they may understand those four words in Psalm 
c\ii. Effundit contemptum super primipes (He 
poureth contempt on princes). I swear to you 
by God himself, that if you wait for men to 
come and shout in your ears these four words, 
you are lost, even though each of you were 
as powerful as the Turk ; and then it will avail 
you nothing to swell yourselves out and grind 
your teeth. . . Already there are very few princes 
who are not treated as fools and knaves; for the 
plain reason that they show themselves such, and 

the people begin to use their understanding 

Good masters and lords, govern with moderation 
and justice, for your people will not long endure 
your tyranny ; they neither can, nor will. This 
world is no more the world of former davs, in 
which you went hunting down men like wild 
beasts." Luther remarks with regard to two 
severe rescripts of the emperor's against him : 
" I exhort every good Christian to pray with me 
for these blmd princes, whom God has no doubt 
sent us in his wrath, and not to follow them against 
the Turks. The Turk is ten times more able and 
more religious than our princes. How can these 
wretches, who tempt and blaspheme God so hor- 
ribly, succeed against him ? Does not that 
poor and wretched creature, who is not for one 
moment sure of his life, does not our emperor 
impudently boast that he is the true and sovereign 
defender of the Christian faith ? Holy Scripture 
says that the Christian faith is a rock, against 
which the devil, and death, and every power shall 
be broken ; that it is a divine power, and that 
this divine power can be protected from death by 
a child, whom the slightest touch would throw 
down. God ! how mad is this world ! Here is 
the king of England, who, in his turn, styles him- 
self, Defender of the Faith ! Even the Hungarians 
boast of being the protectors of God, and sing in 
their litanies, ' Ut nos defetisores tuos exaudire 
digneris' (Vouchsafe to hear us, thy defenders). . . 
Why are not there princes to protect Jesus Christ 
as well, and others to defend the Holy Ghost ? On 
this fashion, the Holy Trinity and the faith would, 
I conclude, at last be fitly guarded I" . . . (a.d. 

Daring like this alarmed the elector. Luther 
could hardly reassure him : — " I call to mind, my 
dear Spalatin, what I wrote from Bora to the 
elector, and would to God that, warned by such 
evident signs from God's own hand, you would but 
have faith. Have I not escaped these two years 
from every attempt ? Is not the elector not only 
safe, but has he not for this year past seen the rage 
of the princes abated ? It is not hard for Christ to 
protect Christ in this cause of mine ; which the 
elector espoused, induced by God alone. Could I 
devise any means of separating him from this cause, 
without casting shame on the Gospel, I should not 
grudge even my life. Nay, I had made sure that 
before a year was over, they would drag me to the 
stake ; and in this was my hope of his deliverance. 
Since, however, we cannot comprehend or divine 



A.D. 1521—1524. 

God's designs, we shall ever be perfectly safe if we 
say — 'Thy will he done /' And I have no doubt but 
that the prince will be secure from all attack, so 
long as he does not publicly espouse and approve 
our cause. Why is he forced to partake our dis- 
grace ? God only knows ; although it is quite 
certain that this is not to his hurt or danger, but, 
on the contrary, to the great benefit of his salva- 
tion " (October 12th, 1523). 

What constituted Luther's safety, was the 
apparent imminency of a general revolutionary 
movement. The lower classes grumbled. The 
petty nobility, more impatient, took the initiative. 
The rich ecclesiastical principalities lay exposed as 
a prey; and it seemed as if their pillage would be 
the signal for civil war. The catholics themselves 
protested by legal means, against the abuses which 
Luther had pointed out in the church. In March, 
1523, the diet of Nuremberg suspended the execu- 
tion of the imperial edict against Luther, and drew 
up against the clergy the Centum Gravamina (The 
Hundred Grievances). Already the most zealous 
of the princes of the Rhine, Franz von Sickingen, 
had begun the contest between the petty barons and 
princes, by attacking the Palatine. "Matters," 
exclaimed Luther, " are come to a grievous pass. 
Certain signs indicate approaching revolution; and 
I am convinced Germany is threatened either with 
a most cniel war or its last day " (January 16th, 



The most active and laborious period of Luther's 
life, was that succeeding his return to Wittemberg. 
He was constrained to go on with the Reformation, 
to advance each day on the road he had opened, to 
surmount new obstacles, and yet, from time to time, 
to stop in this work of destruction to reconstruct 
and rebuild as well as he might. His life loses the 
unity it presented at Worms, and in the castle of 
Wartburg. Hurried from his poetic solitude into 
a vortex of the meanest realities, and cast as a prey 
to the world, 'tis to him that all the enemies of Rome 
will apply. All flock to him, and besiege his door 
— princes, doctors, or burgesses. He has to reply 
to Bohemians, to Italians, to Swiss, to all Europe. 
Fugitives arrive from every quarter. Indisputably, 
the most embarrassing of these are the nuns who, 
having fled from their convents, and having been 
rejected by their families, apply for an asylum to 
Luther. This man, tliirty-six years of age, finds him- 
self obliged to receive these women and maidens, 
and be to them a father. A poor monk, his own 
situation a necessitous one (see, above, c. iv), he 
labours to get some small help for them from the 
parsimonious elector, who is allowing himself to 
die of hunger. To sink into these straits, after his 
triumph at Worms, was enough to calm the re- 
former's exaltation. 

The answers he returns to the multitude that 
come to consult him, are impressed with a liberality 
of spirit which, afterwards, we shall see him occa- 
sionally lose sight of ; when, raised to be the head 
of an established church, he shall himself ex- 
perience the necessity of staying the movement 
which he had impressed onx'cligious thought. 

First comes the pastor of Zwickau, Hausmann, 
calling on Luther to determine the limits of evan- 
gelical liberty. He answers : — " We grant full 
libei'ty with regard to the communion in both 
kinds ; but to such as approach becomingly and 
with fear. In all the rest, let us observe the usual 
ritual, let each follow his own lights, and each in- 
ten-ogate his own conscience, how to answer to 
the Gospel." The Moravian brethren come next, 
the Vaudois of Moravia, (March 26th, 1522). " The 
sacrament itself," writes Luther to them, " is not so 
indispensable as to render faith and charity super- 
fluous. It is madness to be meddling with these poor 
matters, to the neglect of the precious concerns of 
salvation. Where faith and charity are, there can 
be no sin either in adoring or not adoring. On the 
contrary, where faith and charity are not, there can- 
not but be one enduring sin. If these wranglers 
will not say concomitance, let them say otherwise, 
and give over disputing, since they agree fundamen- 
tally. Faith, charity does not adore (it is the 
woi'ship of samts that is alluded to), because it 
knows that adoration is not commanded, and that 
there is no sin in not adoring. So does it pass at 
liberty through the midst of these people, and re- 
conciles them all, by leaving each to enjoy his own 
opinion. It forbids wrangling with and condemning 
one another, for it hates sects and schisms. I 
would resolve the question of the adoration of God 
in the saints, by saying, that it is altogether in- 
diff"erent, and open to individual choice or rejec- 
tion." He expressed himself in regard to this 
latter subject with singular haughtiness : "To my 
own marvel, my opinion of the worship of saints is 
so called for by the whole world, that I feel forced 
to publish it. I had rather the question were 
suff"ered to rest, for the one reason that it is unne- 
cessary " (May 29th, 1522). " As to the exhibition 
of relics, I think they have already been exhibited 
over and over again, throughout the whole world. 
With respect to purgatory ; it seems to me a very 
doubtful matter. It is probable that, with the 
exception of a small number, all the dead sleep in a 
state of insensibility. I do not suppose purgatory 
to be a determinate spot, as imagined by the so- 
phists. To believe them, all those who are neither 
in heaven nor in hell, are in purgatory. Who 
dare affirm this ? The souls of the dead may 
sleep between heaven, earth, hell, purgatory, and all 
things, as it happens with the living, in profound 
sleep. ... I take this to be the pain which is 
called the foretaste of hell ; and from which Christ, 
Moses, Abraham, David, Jacob, Job, Hezekiah, 
and many others, suffered such agony. And as 
this is like hell, and yet temporax-y, whether it take 
place in the body or out of the body, it is purgatory 
tome." (January 13th, 1522.) 

In Luther's hands, confession loses the character 
it had assumed under the Chui'ch. It is no longer 
that formidable tribunal which shuts and opens 
heaven. With him, the priest simply places his 
wisdom and his experience at the penitent's ser- 
vice; and from the sacrament which it was, con- 
fession is transformed into a ministry of comfort 
and good advice. " It needeth not, in confession, 
to recapitulate all one's sins ; each can tell what he 
likes; we shall stone no one for this; if they confess 
from the bottom of their heart that they are poor 
sinners, we are satisfied. If a murderer said on 
his trial that I had given him absolution, I should 

A.D. 1521—1524. 



say — I know not whether he is absolved, for it is 
not I who confess and absolve, it is Christ. A 
woman at Venice killed, and flung into the water, 
a young gallant who had slept with her. A monk 
gave her absolution, and then informed against 
her. The woman produced in her defence the 
monk's absolution. The senate decided that the 
monk should be bunit and the woman banished the 
city. It was a truly wise sentence. But if I gave 
a notification signed with my own hand to an 
alarmed conscience, and it were handed to the 
judge, I might lawfully insist on his giving it up to 
me, as I did with duke George; for he who holds 
another's letters, without a good title to them, is a 
thief." As to mass, from the year 1519, he treats 
its external celebration as a matter of perfect indif- 
ference ; writing to Spalatin," You ask me for a model 
form of ceremonial for mass. I implore you not to 
trouble yourself about minutite of the kind. Pray 
for those whom God shall inspire you to pray for, 
and keep your conscience free on this subject. It 
is not so important a matter as to require us 
to shackle still further by decrees and traditions 
the spirit of liberty: the prevailing traditions that 
ovei'burthen the mass are enough, and more than 
enough." Towards the end of his life, in 1542, he 
again wrote to the same Spalatin (November 10th): 
— " With regard to the elevation of the host, do 
just as it pleases you. 1 wish no fetters forged on 
indifferent matters. This is the strain in which I 
write, have wi-itten, and ever shall write to all who 
worry me on this question." Nevertheless, he 
recognized the necessity of external worship: — 
" Albeit ceremonies are not necessary to salvation, 
nevertheless they make an impression on rude 
minds. I allude mainly to the ceremonies of the 
mass, which you may retain as we have here at 
Wittemberg." (January 11th, 153J.) " I condemn 
no ceremony, except such as are contrary to the 
Gospel. We have retained the baptistery and 
baptism; although we administer it in the vulgar 
tongue. I allow of images in the temple; mass is 
celebrated with the usual rites and habits, with the 
exception of some hymns in the vulgar tongue, and 
of pronouncing the words of consecration in Ger- 
man. In short, I should not have substituted the 
vulgar tongue for Latin in the celebration of mass, 
had I not been compelled to it." (March 14th, 1528.) 
" Yon are about to organise the church of Koenigs- 
berg; I pray you, in Christ's name, change as few 
things as possible. You have some episcopal 
towns near you, and must not let the ceremonies of 
the new Church differ much from the ancient 
rites. If mass in Latin be not done away with, 
retain it; only, introduce some hymns in German. 
If it be done away with, retain the ancient ceremo- 
nial and habits." (July IGth, 1528.) 

The most serious change which Luther intro- 
duced into the mass, was translating it into the vul- 
gar tongue. " Mass shall be said in German for 
the laity ; but the daily service shall be performed 
in Latin, introducing, however, some German 
hymns." (October 28th, 1525.) " I am glad to find 
that mass is now celebrated in Germany, in Ger- 
man. But that Carlstadt should make this impe- 
rative, is going too far. He is incorrigible. Al- 
ways laws, always obligations, sins of omission, or 
commission ! But he cannot help it. I should be 
delighted to sing mass in German, and am busied 
with it ; but I want it to have a true German air. 

Simply to translate the Latin text, preserving the 
usual tone and chant, may pass ; but it does not 
sound well, or satisfy me. The whole, text and 
notes, accent and gestures, ought to spring from 
our native tongue and voice ; otherwise, it can 

only be imitation and mockery " "1 wish 

rather than promise, to furnish you with a mass in 
German ; since I do not feel myself equal to this 
labour, which requires both music and brain-work. 
(November 12th, 1524.) " I send you the mass ; I 
will even consent to its being sung ; but I do not 
like to have Latin music with German words. I 
should wish the German chant to be adopted." 
(March 26th, 1525.) " I am of opinion that it would 
be advantageous, after the example of the prophets, 
and the ancient Fathers of the Church, to compose 
psalms in German for the people. We are looking 
for poets everywhere ; but sith you have been 
gifted with considerable fluency and eloquence in 
the German tongue, and have cultivated these 
gifts, I pray you to assist me in my labour, and 
to essay a translation of some psalm, on the mo- 
del of those I have composed. I am anxious to 
avoid all new words and court phrases. To be un- 
derstood by the people, you require to use the 
simplest and commonest language, attending, how- 
ever, to purity and precision ; and your phrases 
must be as clear and as close to the text as pos- 
sible." (a.d. 1524.) 

It was no easy task to organize the new Church. 
The ancient hierarchy was broken up. The prin- 
ciple of the Reformation was to reinstate every- 
thing according to Scripture warrant ; and to be 
consistent, the Church should have been restored to 
the democratic form it assumed during the first 
centuries. Luther, at first, seemed to incline to 
this. In his De Miiiistris Ecclesice Iristituendis, (On 
the Appointment of Ministers to the Church,) ad- 
dressed to the Bohemians, he writes — " What a 
notable invention it is of the papists, that the priest 
is invested with an indestructible character, which 
no fault he commits can deprive him of. . . . 
The priest ought to be chosen, elected by the 
suff"rages of the people, and then confirmed by 
the bishop ; that is to say, after election, the 
senior, the most venerable of the electors, shoidd 
ratify it by imposition of hands. Did Christ, 
the first priest under the New Testament, require 
the tonsure and other fooleries of episcopal ordina- 
tion ? Did his apostles, his disciples ? . . . . AH 
Christians are priests, all may teach God's word, 
administer baptism, consecrate the bread and wine ; 
for Christ has said, ' Do this in remembrance of 
me.' All of us Christians have the power of the 
keys. Christ said to his apostles, who represented 
the whole human race before him, ' I say unto you, 
that what you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed 
in heaven.' But to bind and to unloose is no 
other thing than to preach and to apply the 
Gospel. To loose, is to announce that God has 
forgiven the sinner his errors. To bind, is to de- 
prive of the Gospel and annoimce that his sins are 
remembered. The names which priests ought to 
bear, are those of ministers, deacons, bishops (over- 
seers), dispensers. On a minister's ceasing to be 
faithful, he ought to be deposed ; his brethren may 
excommunicate him, and put some other minister 
in his place. Preaching is the highest oftice in 
the Church. Jesus Christ and Paul preached, but 
did not baptize." (a. d. 1523.) He would not, as 



A.D. 1521—1624. 

we have already seen, restrict all churches to one 
iinifoiin rule. " 1 do not opine that our Wittem- 
berg rules should be imposed on all Germany." 
And again, " It does not seem to me safe to call a 
council of ourselves, in order to establish uni- 
formity of ceremonies, a mode of proceeding 
fraught with evil consequences, as is proved by all 
the councils of the Church from the beginning. 
Thus, in the council of the Apostles, works and 
traditions received more attention than faith ; and, 
in the succeeding councils, the faith was never 
brought under consideration, but always opinions 
and minute questions, so that the name of council 
has become as suspicious and distasteful to me as 
that of free-will. If one church does not wish to 
imitate another in these external matters, what 
need of hampering ourselves with decrees of coun- 
cils, which soon become laws and nets for souls ?" 
(November 12th, 1524.) 

He, nevertheless, felt that this liberty might be 
extended too far, and lead the Reformation into in- 
numerable abuses. " I have read your plan of 
ordination, my dear Hausmann, but think it would 
be better not to publish it. I have long since been 
repenting of what I have done ; for since all, in 
imitation of me, have proposed their reforms, so 
infinite has been the increase in the variety and 
number of ceremonies, that we shall soon exceed 
the ocean of the papal ceremonial." (March 21st, 
1534.) With the view of introducing some unity 
into the ceremonies of the new church, annual 
visitations were instituted, and held over all Saxony. 
The visitors were to inquire into the lives and 
doctrines of the pastors, revive the faith of the 
ei-i'ing, and exclude from the priesthood all whose 
manners were not exemplary. These visitors 
were nominated by the elector, on the recom- 
mendation of Luther ; who, as he had fixed 
his residence at Wittemberg, formed along with 
Jonas, Melanchthon, and some other theologians, a 
sort of central committee for the direction of all 
ecclesiastical aflFairs. " The inhabitants of Wins- 
heim have petitioned our illustrious prince, to 
allow you to take charge of their church ; on our 
advice, he has refused their prayers. He allows 
you to return to your own country, should we judge 
you worthy of the ministry there (November, 
1531). Signed Luther, Jonas, Melanchthon." 

Numerous similar notices occur amongst Luther's 
letters, signed by himself and many other protestant 

Although Luther enjoyed no rank which placed 
him above the other pastors, he yet exercised a 
kind of supremacy and control. " Still," he 
writes to Amsdorf, " still fresh complaints against 
you and Frezhans, because you have excommuni- 
cated a barber. As yet, I would fain not decide 
betwixt you ; but, tell me, I pray you, why this 
excommunication ?" (July, 1532). " "We can only 
I'efuse the communion. To endeavour to give to 
religious excommunication all the effects of political 
excommunication, would be to get ourselves laughed 
at by trying to assert a power incompatible with the 
present age, and which is above our strength . . . 
The province of the civil magistrate should not be 
interfered with. . ." (June 26th, 1533.) However, 
at times, excommunication seemed to him a good 
weapon to employ. A burgess of Wittemberg had 
purchased a house for thirty florins, and, after some 
repair-s, asked four hundred for it. "If he per- 

sist,'' says Luther, " 1 excommunicate him. We 
must revive excommunication." As he spoke of 
reviving the consistorial courts. Christian Bruck, 
the jurisconsult, said to him: "The nobles and 
citizens fear you are about to begin with the 
peasants in order to end with them." " Jurist," 
replied Luther, " keep to your law and to what 
concerns the public peace." In 1538, learning that 
a man of Wittemberg despised God, his word, and 
his servants, he has him threatened by two chap- 
lains. At a later period he excludes a nobleman, 
who was a usurer, from the communion table. One 
of the things which most troubled the reformer 
was the abolition of the monastic vows. About 
the middle of the year 1522, he published an ex- 
hortation to the four mendicant orders. In the 
month of March the Austin friars, in August the 
Carthusians, declared openly for him: — " To the 
lieutenants of his imperial majesty at Nuremberg. 
. . . . God cannot ask for vows beyond human 
strength to fulfil. . . . Dear lords, suffer yourselves 
to be entreated. You know not the horrible and 
infamous tricks the devil plays in convents. Become 
not his accomplices; burden not your conscience 
therewith. Ah ! did my most infuriate enemies 
know the things I hear daily from all countries, 
they would help me to-morrow to do away with 
convents. You force me to cry out louder than I 
like. Give way, I beseech you, before these scan- 
dals become too disgracefully notorious." (August, 
1523.) " I am much pleased with the general de- 
cree of the Carthusians, allowing the monks liberty 
to leave and to renounce their habit, and shall pub- 
lish it. The example set by so considerable an 
order will further our wishes and support our deci- 
sions." (August 20th, 1522.) However, he wished 
things to be done without noise or scandal. He 
writes to John Lange: — " You have not, I conclude, 
left your monastery without a reason; but I should 
have preferred your making your reasons public; 
not that I condemn your leaving, but that I would 
have our adversaries deprived of all occasion of 

Vain were his exhortations to avoid all violence. 
The Reformation slipped away from his hands, and 
extended itself every day externally. At Erfurth, 
in the year 1521, the people had forced the houses 
of several priests, and he had complained of it; the 
following year they went further in the Low Coun- 
tries. " You know, I believe, what has taken place 
at Antwerp, and how the women have forcibly set 
Henry of Zutphen at liberty. The brethren have 
been expelled from the convent; some are pri- 
soners in divers places: others have been let go 
after denying Christ; others, again, have held out; 
such as are by birth citizens of the town have been 
cast into the house of the Beghards; all the furni- 
ture of the convent has been sold, and the church, 
as well as the convent, shut, and they are about to 
pull it down. The holy sacrament was transferred 
with pomp to the church of the Holy Virgin, as if it 
had been rescued from an heretical spot. Burgesses 
and women have been put to the torture and 
punished. Henry himself is returning by way of 
Bremen, where he is stopping to preach the word, 
at the prayers of the people, and by order of the 
council, in despite of the bishop. The peoi)le are 
animated by marvellous desire and ardour; in fine, 
a chapman has been set up in business here by 
some individuals, in order to import books from 

A,D. 1521—1524. 



Wittemberg. Henry, iudeed, required letters of 
licence from you; but we could not get at you 
quickly enough, so we have granted them in your 
name, under the seal of our prior." (December 19th, 
1522.) All the Austin friars of Wittemberg had 
left their monastery one after the other; the prior 
resigned its temporalities into the elector's hands, 
and Luther threw off the gown. On the 9th of 
October, 1524, he appeared in public with a robe 
like the one worn at the present day by preachers 
in Germany; and it was the elector's present. 
Luther's e.xample encouraged monks and nuns to 
I'e-enter the world; and these helpless females, sud- 
denly cast out of the cloister, and all at a loss in a 
world of which they knew nothing, hurried to him 
whose pi-eaching had drawn them out of their con- 
ventual solitude. " Nine nuns came to me yester- 
day, who had escaped from their imprisonment in 
the convent of Ninipschen; Staupitzaand two other 
members of Zeschau's family were of the number." 
(April 8ih, 1523.) " 1 feel great pity for them, 
and especially for those others who are dying in 
crowds of this accursed and incestuous chastity. 
This most feeble sex is united to the male by 
nature, by God himself ; if they are separated, 
it perishes. tyrants ! cruel parents of 
Germany ! . . . You ask my intentions with 
respect to them. In the first place, I shall 
have their parents written to to receive them; if 
they refuse, I shall provide for them elsewhere. 
Their names are as follow: — Magdalen Staupitz, 
Elsa von Cauitz, Ave Gi'ossin, Ave Schonfeld, and 
her sister Margaret Schonfeld, Laneta von Golis, 
Margaret Zeschau, and Catherine von Bora. They 
made their escape in the most surprising manner. 
. . . . Beg some money for me from your rich 
courtiers, to enable me to support them for a week 
or fortnight, until I restore them to their parents, 
or to those who have promised me to take care of 
them." (April 10th, 1523.) "I am surprised, 
Spalatin, master mine, that you have sent this 
woman back to me, since you know my handwriting 
well, and give no other reason than the letter's not 
being signed. . . . Pi"ay the elector to give some 
ten florins, and a new or old gown, or something of 
the kind; in short, to give to these poor souls, vir- 
gins against their will." (April 22nd, 1523.) 

On April 10th, 1522, Luther wi-ites to Leonard 
Koppe, a wealthy bui'gess of Torgau, who had 
aided nine nuns to escape from their convent, 
approving of his conduct, and exhorting him not to 
allow himself to be alai-med by any clamour that 
may be raised against him. " You have done a 
good work; and would to God we were able to 
efi'ect a like deliverance for the numerous con- 
sciences still held in captivity. . . . God's word is 
now in the world, and not in convents." .... On 
June 18th, 1523, he writes to comfort three young 
ladies whom duke Henry, son of duke George, 
had expelled his court for having read Luther's 
writings: — " Bless those who persecute you, &c. . 
. . . Unhappily, you are only too well avenged 
on their injustice. You must jiity these insensates, 
these madmen, who do not see that they ai'e hm-ry- 
ing their souls to perdition by seeking to do you 
harm." . . . . " You have already, no doubt, heard 
the news that the duchess of Montsberg has 
escaped, most miraculously, from the convent of 
Freyberg. She is at present in my house with 
two young girls, the one, Margaret Volckmarin, 

daughter of a Leipsic burgher; the other, Dorothea, 
daughter of a burgess of Freyberg." (October 
20th, 1528.) "This hapless Elizal.etli von Reiiis- 
berg, expelled from the girls' school at Altenburg, 
has applied to me, after having petitioned the 
prince, who had referred her to the connnissionei*s 
of the sequestered property, begging me to get 
you to interest yourself for her with them, ice." 
(March, 1533.) " That young girl of Altenburg, 
whose aged father and mother have been arrested 
in their own house, has applied to me for succour 
and advice. What I am to do in this business, 
God only knows." (July 14tli, 1533.) From some 
expressions of Luther's we discover that his good- 
nature was often imposed upon by these women 
who flocked to him, and that in many cases even 
they were only pretended nuns: — " What numbers 
of nuns have I not supported, at heavy expense. 
How often have I not been deceived by pretended 
nuns, mere harlots, whatever their noble birth 
{(joierosas meretrices)." (August 24th, 1535.) 

Luther's notions of the propriety of suppressing 
religious houses were soon modified by these im- 
positions. In an exordium addressed to the com- 
mune of Leisnick (a.d. 1523) he dissuades from 
their violent suppression, and recommends their 
being gradually extinguished by forbidding the 
reception of any more novices: — " As no one ought 
to have foi'ce put upon him in mattei's of faith," he 
goes on to say, " such as are desirous of remaining 
in their convents, either frcim their advanced age, 
from love of an idle life and of good cheer, or from 
conscientious motives, ought neither to be expelled 
nor illtreated. They must be left until their time 
come as they have before been; for the Gospel 
teaches us to do good even to the unworthy; and 
we must take into consideration that these persons 
embraced their vocation, blinded by the common 
error, and have learnt no trade by which they can 

support themselves The property belonging 

to religious houses should be employed as follows: 
— firstly, as I have just intimated, in supporting 
these monks who continue in them; next a certain 
sum ought to be given to those who leave (even 
though they should have brought nothing to the 
convent), to enable them to enter upon another 
way of life, as they quit their asylum for ever, and 
they may have learnt something whilst in the con- 
vent. As for those who brought property into the 
convent, the greater part, if not all, ought to be 
restored to them; the residue should be placed in 
a common chest for loans and gifts to the poor of 
the district. The wish of the founders will thus be 
fulfilled; since, although they suft'ered themselves 
to be seduced into parting with their property for 
monastic uses, still their intent w as to consecrate 
it to the honour and worship of God. Now, there 
is no finer worship than Ciiristiau charity, which , 
comes to the relief of the indigent; as Jesus Christ 
will bear witness on the day of judgment (Matt. 
ch. xxv.). . . . Yet, if any of the founder's heirs 
should happen to be in want, it would be equit- 
able and conformable to charity to put them in 
possession of a portion of the revenues of the 
foundation, even all if necessary, as it could not 
have been the wish of their fathers to dejirive 
their children and heirs of bread to give it to 
strangers. . . . You will object to me that 1 make 
the hole too large, and that on this plan but little 
will be left for the common chest ; each, you will 



A.D. 1523—1525. 

say, will come and pretend that he requires so 
much or so much, &c. But I have already said, 
that this ought to be a labour of equity and of 
charity. Let each conscientiously examine how 
much he requires for his wants, how much he can 
give up to the chest ; and then let the commune 
weigh the circumstances in its turn, and all will go 
well. And though the cupidity of some individuals 
may find its advantage in this mutual accommoda- 
tion, this would be infinitely preferable to the 
pillage and disorder which we have witnessed in 
Bohemia. ... I would not recommend the aged 
to quit their monasteries; principally, because they 
would only return to the world to be a burden to 
others, and would be at a loss to meet, cold as 
charity is no\v-a-days, with the comforts they de- 
serve. By remaining within the monastery, they 
will not be chargeable to any one, or obliged to 
throw themselves on the care of strangers ; and 
they will be enabled to do much for the salvation 
of their neighbours, which in the world they would 
find difticult, nay, impossible." Luther ended by 
encouraging a monk to remain in his monastery: — 
" I lived there myself some years, and should have 
lived longer, and even up to the present time, had 
my brethren and the state of the monastery allowed 
of my so doing." (Feb. 28th, 1528.) 

Some nuns in the Low Countries wrote to doctor 
Martin Luther, commending themselves to his 
prayers : pious virgins, fearing God, who supported 
themselves by their own industry, and lived in 
harmony. The doctor was moved with great com- 
passion for them, and says: — " Poor nuns like these 
must be suffered to live in their own way; and so 
with the ffldkloster, founded by princes for the 
nobility. But the mendicant orders ... It is 
from cloisters like those of which I was just now 
speaking, that able men may be drawn forth for the 
ministry of the Church, and for civil government 
and administration." This epoch of Luther's life 
was one of overpowering toil and business, in 
which he was no longer supported, as at first, by 
the excitement of the struggle and the sense of dan- 
ger. To 'Spalatin : — " Deliver me, I beseech you. 
I am so overwhelmed by others' business, that my 
life is a burthen to me. . . . Martin Luther, 
courtier, not belonging to the court, and in his own 
despite {Aulicim extra ciulam, et inntus)." (a.d. 
1523.) " I am fully occupied, being visitor, reader, 
preacher, author, auditor, actor, footman, wrestler, 
and I know not what besides." (October 29th, 
1528.) Parochial reform, uniformity of ceremo- 
nial, the drawing up of the great Catechism, an- 
swers to the new pastors, letters to the elector, 
whose consent was to be obtained for every innova- 
tion — here was work enough, and tedium enough; 
and, with all this, his enemies left him no rest. 
Erasmus published his formidable work De Libero 
Arbitrio (On Free Will) against him ; which 
Luther did not make up his mind to answer until 
1525. The Reformation itself seemed to turn 
against the reformer. His old friend, Carlstadt, 
had hurried on in the path in which Luther was 
walking ; and it was to check his sudden and vio- 
lent innovations, that Luther had so precipitately 
quitted the castle of Wartbui'g. It was not 
religious authority alone that was at stake ; the 
civil power was about to be brought into question. 
Beyond Carlstadt, glimpses might be caught of 
Miinzer; beyond the sacramentaiians and icono- 

clasts, there loomed in the distance the revolt of 
the peasants — a Jacquerie, a more reasonable, and 
more levelling, servile war than those of antiquity, 
and not less bloody. 

A.D. 1523 — 1525. 


" Pray for me, and help me to trample under foot 
this Satan that has arisen at Wittemberg against 
the Gospel, in the name of the Gospel. We have 
now to combat an angel become, as he believes, an 
angel of light. It will be difficult to persuade 
Carlstadt to give way ; but Christ will constrain 
him, if he does not yield of himself. For we are 
masters of life and death ; we who believe in the 
Master of life and death." (March 12th, 1523.) " I 
am resolved to forbid him the pulpit, into which 
he has rashly intruded without any vocation, in de- 
spite of God and man." (March 19th.) " I have 
angered Carlstadt by annulling his ordinations, 
although I have not condemned his doctrine. Yet 
I am displeased at his busying himself with cere- 
monies and outward matters only, to the neglect of 
the true Christian doctrine ; that is, of faith and 
charity. ... By his foolish teaching, he induced 
his heai'ers to fancy themselves Christians on such 
accounts as — partaking of the communion in both 
kinds, renouncing confession, breaking images. . . . 
He has been seeking to become a new doctor, and 
to impose his ordinances on the people, rising on 
the ruin of my authority {pressa mea auctoiitate)." 
March 30th. " This very day I took Carlstadt 
aside, and begged him to publish nothing against 
me, since (otherwise), we should be forced to come 
to sharps with each other. Our gentleman swore 
by all most sacred, to write nothing against me." 
(April 21st.) . . . " We must teach the weak gently 
and patiently. . . . Would you, who have been a 
suckling yourself, cut off" the breasts, and hinder 
others from imbibing similar nourishment 1 Did 
mothers expose and desei't their children, who can- 
not, as soon as born, eat like men, what would have 
become of yourself ? Dear ft'iend, if you have 
sucked enough, and grown enough, let others suck 
and grow in their turn . . . ." 

Carlstadt gave up his functions as professor and 
archdeacon at Wittemberg, but not the emolu- 
ments, and repaired first to Orlamunde, then to 
Jena. " Carlstadt has established a printing- 
office at Jena. . . But the elector and our academy 
have promised, in conformity with the imperial 
edict, to allow no work to be published which has 
not previously been examined by the commis- 
sioners. We must not allow Carlstadt and his 
friends to be the only persons exempt from sub- 
mission to princes." (January 7th, 1524.) " As 
usual, Carlstadt is indefatigable. With his new 
presses at Jena he has published, and will pub- 
lish, I am told, eighteen works." (January 14th.) 
'• Let us leave all sadness and anxiety to be Carl- 
stadt's portion. Let us maintain the combat, 
without allowing it to engross us. 'Tis God's 
cause, 'tis God's business : the work will be God's, 
the victory God's. He can fight and conquer 
without us. If he judge us worthy of a part in 
this war, we shall be devotedly ready. I write 
this by way of exhorting you, and, through you, 

A.D. 1523—1525. 


others, not to be alarmed at Satan, or to suffer your 
heart to be troubled. If we are unjust, must not 
we be overborne ? If just, there is a just God 
who will make oui- justice evident as the noon- 
day. Perish who may, sui'vive who may, that is 
no business of ours." (October 22nd, 1524.) " We 
shall recall Carlstadt, in the name of the uni- 
versity, to his duty as teacher of the word, which 
he owes to Wittemberg, and from a spot whither 
he had no call ; and, if he does not return, shall 
accuse him to the prince." (March 14th, 1524). 
Luther thought it his duty to repair to Jena ; and 
Carlstadt, conceiving himself aggrieved by a ser- 
mon of Luther's, requested a conference ; and 
they met in Luther's apartments in presence of 
numerous witnesses. After much recrimination 
on both sides, Carlstadt said : " Enough, doctor, 
go on preaching against me, I shall know what 
course to take." Luther : " If you have anything 
you long to say, write it boldly." Carlstadt : " I 
will ; and without fearing any one." Luther : 
" Yes, write against me publicly." Carlstadt: " If 
such be your wish, I can easily satisfy it." Luther: 
" Do ; I will give you a florin by way of throwing 
down tlie gauntlet." Carlstadt : " A floi'in ?" Lu- 
ther : " May I be a liar, if I do not." Carlstadt : 
" Well ! I'll take up your gauntlet." On this, 
Luther drew a golden florin from his pocket and 
presented it to Carlstadt, saying, " Take it, and 
attack me boldly ; up and be doing." Carlstadt 
took the florin, showed it to all present, and said : 
" Dear brethren, here is earnest ; this is a token 
that I have a right to write against doctor Luther: 
be ye all witnesses of this." Then he put it in his 
purse, and gave his hand to Luther. The latter 
drank to his health. Carlstadt pledged him, and 
added, " Dear doctor, I pray you not to hinder 
me from printing anything 1 shall wish, and not 
to persecute me in any manner. I think of sup- 
porting myself by my plough, and you shall be 
enabled to judge of its produce." Luther: " Why 
should I wish to hinder you from writing against 
me ! I beg you to do it, and have given you the 
florin precisely that you may not spare me. The 
more violent your attacks, the more delighted I 
shall be." They again gave each other their 
hands, and parted. 

However, as the town of Orlamunde entered too 
warmly into Carlstadt's opinions, and had even 
expelled its pastor, Luther obtained an order from 
the elector for Carlstadt's expulsion. Carlstadt 
read a solemn letter of farewell, first to the men, 
then to the women. They had been called to- 
gether by the tolling of the bell, and all wept. 
" Carlstadt has written to the inhabitants of Orla- 
munde, and has subscribed himseli, Andretc Boden- 
stein, expelled, without having been heard or convicted, 
by MaHin Luther. You see that I, who have been 
all but a martyr, have come to making martyrs in 
my turn. Egranus plays the martyr as well ; and 
writes that he lias been driven away by the papists 
and the Lutherans. You cannot think how widely 
spread Carlstadt's doctrine is on the sacrament. . . 
* * * * has returned to his senses, and asks 
pardon. He, too, had been forced to quit the 
country. I have interceded for him ; but I am 
not sure that I shall succeed. Martin of Jena, 
who had also received orders to depart, has taken 
his farewell from the pulpit, all in tears, and im- 
ploring pardon. The only answer he got was five 

florins ; which sum, by begging through the 
town, was increased by twenty-five groschen. All 
this is likely to do good to preachers : it will be a 
trial of their vocation, and will, at the same time, 
teach them to preach and to conduct themselves 
with some fear before their eyes." (October 27th, 
1524.) Carlstadt repaired to Strasburg, and thence 
to Bale. His doctrines approximated closely to 
those of the Swiss, to ODcolampadius's, Zuinglius's, 
&c. " I defer writing on the eucharist until Carl- 
stadt has poured forth all his poison, as he promised 
when taking a piece of gold of me. Zwin^lc 
and Leo, the Jew, in Switzerland, hold the same 
opinions as Carlstadt, so the scourge is spreading : 
but Christ reigns, if he fights not." (November 
12th, 1524.) However, he conceived it right to 
reply to Carlstadt's complaint of having been 
driven by him from Saxony. " In the first place, 
I can safely say that I never mentioned Carlstadt 
to the elector of Saxony, for I have never spoken 
a word in my life to that prince, nor have ever 
heard him open his lips, and have even never 
seen him, except once at Worms, in the emperor's 
presence, when I was examined the second day. 
But it is true that I have often written to him 
through Spalatin, and in particular to entreat him 
to resist the spirit arising at Alstet *. But my 
solicitations were so ineff'ectual as to induce me to 
feel angry with the elector. Carlstadt then should 
have spared such a prince the reproaches which 
he has heaped upon him. ... As to duke John 
Fi'ederick, I confess that I have often pointed out 
to him Carlstadt's attempts and perverse am- 
bition." ..." There is no joking with my lord All- 
the-icorld (Herr OmnesJ; for which reason, God has 
constituted authorities : it being his will that there 
should be order here below." 

At last, Carlstadt broke out : " I heard yester- 
day of Carlstadt from a friend of mine at Stras- 
burg, which city he left for Bale, and has at 
length vomited forth five books, which are to be 
followed by two others. I am handled as double 
papist, the ally of Antichrist, and what not !" 
(Dec. 14th.) "I hear from Bale, that Carl- 
stadt's supporters have been punished 

He has been in the town, but pi'ivily. CEcolam- 
padius and Pellican have given in their adhesion to 
his doctrine." (Jan. 13th, 1525.) "Carlstadt had 
made up his mind to pitch his tent in Schweindorf ; 
but the count of Henneberg has forbidden this by 
letters express to the town council. I should like 
Strauss to be treated in the same manner." (April 
10th, 1525. Luther seems delighted with Carl- 
stadt's declaring himself : " The devil was silent," 
he writes, " until I won him over by a florin, which, 
thanks to God, has been well laid out, and I don't 
repent of it." He straightway published various 
pamphlets, written with wonderful energy, Against 
the Heavenly Prophets : — " Men fear nothing, as if 
the devil were sleeping ; whereas, he prowls around 
like a cruel lion. But, as long as I live, I trust 
there will be no danger ; for whilst I live, I will do 
battle, hap what may ." He goes on to argue, that 
all seek what is agreeable to reason only. So 
with the Arians and Pelagians. So with the jjapacy, 
it was a well-sounding proposition that grace could 
be advantaged by fi'ee-will. The inculcation of 
faith and a good conscience is more important than 

* Where Miinzer lived, the leader of the revolt of the 
peasants, spoken of further on. 


A.D, 1523—1525. 

the preaching of good works ; since, if works fail, 
whilst faitli remains, there is still hope of aid. 
Spiritual means ought to be employed to win true 
Christians to a knowledge of their sins : — " But for 
rude men, for my lord Every-body {Ilerr Omnes), 
they must be driven, corporally and rudely, to 
labour and do their allotted works, so that will ye, 
nill ye, they may be pious outwardly, under tlie law 
and the sword, as we keep wild beasts in cages and 
chained. . . . The spirit of the new prophets as- 
pires to be the highest spii-it, a spirit which has 
eaten the Holy Ghost, feathers and all. Bible, they 
cry out ; yes, bibel, bubel, babd. Well ! Sith the 
evil spirit is so obstinate in his opinion, I will not 
give way to him any more than I have done before. 
I will speak of images : firstly, according to the 
law of Moses, and 1 will say, that Moses forbids 
only images of God. Let us then confine ourselves 
to praying princes to put down images, and let us 
pluck them out of our own hearts." Further on, 
Luther breaks out into ironical surprise, that the mo- 
dern iconoclasts do not push their pious zeal so far, 
as to get rid of their money, and of all precious ar- 
ticles which have figures upon them. " To aid the 
weakness of these holy folk, and deliver them from 
that by which they are defiled, they should be gal- 
lants with but little in their fobs. The lieareuly 
voice it seems is not strong enough to induce them 
to throw away everything of themselves : they need 
a little violence." 

" . ... When I discussed the question of ima- 
ges at Orlamunde, with Carlstadt's disciples, and 
pi'oved by the context, that in every passage they 
quoted from Moses, the allusion was to the idols of 
the pagans ; one of them, who, no doubt, fancied 
himself the ablest, got up and said to me — ' Do thou 
listen ! 1 may be allowed to thee and thou you, if 
thou art a Christian.' I replied, ' Speak to me as 
thou listest.' But I noticed that he would much 
more willingly still have struck me ; he was so filled 
with Carlstadt's spirit, that the others could not 
get him to be silent. ' If thou wilt not follow 
Moses,' he went on to say, ' thou must at least 
admit the Gospel ; but thou hast thrown the Gos- 
pel under the table, and it must be taken up ; no, 
it cannot stay there.' 'What then does the Gos- 
pel say V I replied. ' Jesus says in the Gospel (so 
he answered), I cannot say the place, but my bro- 
thers here know it well, that the bride ought to 
take off" her shift on the wedding night. There- 
fore, we must take off and break all images, in 
order to become pure and free from the creature.' 
Thus he ... . What could I do with men of 
this sort ? At all events, it enabled me to learn 
that breaking images was, according to the Gospel, 
taking off" the bride's shift on her wedding night. 
These words, and the speech about the Gospel's 
being Hung under the table, he had heard from his 
master ; for, no doubt, Carlstadt had accused me 
of throwing down the Gospel, in order to imply 
that he was come to raise it up. This pride has 
been the cause of all his misfortunes, and has 
driven him out of the light into darkness. . . . 
We are glad of heart and full of courage, wrestling 
with melancholy, timid, dejected spirits, that fear 
the rustle of a leaf, though not havinsj the fear of 
God, as is usual with the wicked. (Psalm xxv.) 
Their passion is to domineer over God, and his 
word, and his works. They would not be so bold 
were not God invisible, intangible. Were he a 

visible man, present to their eyes, he would put 
them to flight with a straw. Whoso is inspired 
by God to speak, speaks freely and publicly, 
without giving himself any concern whether 
he is alone or unsupported. Thus did Jere- 
miah ; and I may boast of having done thus 
likewise*. It is then beyond a doubt the devil, 
that apostate and homicidal spirit, who slips into 
the background and then excuses himself, saying, 
that first he had not been strong enough in the 
faith. No; the Spirit of God does not make such 
excuses. I know thee well, my devil. ... If you 
ask them (Carlstadt's partisans) how this sublime 
spirit is attained, they do not I'efer you to the Gos- 
pel, but to their dreams, to imaginary spaces: ' Lie 
thee listlessly down,' say they, ' as I have lain me 
down, and thou wilt receive it in like manner. 
The heavenly voice will make itself heard, and 
God will speak to thee face to face.' If you then 
persist in inquiring what tliis listlessness {ennui) is, 
they know as much about it as Dr. Carlstadt does of 
Greek and Hebrew. . . . Do you not recognize the 
devil in this, the enemy of divine order ? Do you 
see how he opens wide his mouth, crying, ' Spirit, 
Spirit, Spiiit,' and, whilst so crying, how he 
destroys bridges, roads, ladders; in a word, all 
means by which the Spirit can reach thee: to wit, 
the external order established of God in holy 
baptism, in signs, and in his own word ? They 
wish you to scale the skies and ride on the wind, 
and tell you neither how, nor when, nor where, nor 
what; like them, you are to leai'n it of yourself." 

" Martin Luther, an unworthy minister and 
evangelist at Wittembei'g, to all Christians in 
Strasburg, loving friends in God: — I would will- 
ingly endure Carlstadt's intemperance in regard to 
images; and I have, indeed, done more injury to 
images by my writings, than he will ever do by all 
his violence and fury. But what is intolerable is 
the exciting and instigating men to all this, as if it 
were their bounden duty, and that thei'e were no 
other proof of Christianity than breaking images. 
Beyond doubt, works do not make the Christian ; 
these outward matters, such as images and the Sab- 
bath, are left free in the New Testament, as well as 
all the other ceremonies of the law. St. Paul says, 
' We know that idols are nothing in the world.' 
If they are nothing, wherefore shackle and torture 
the conscience of Christians about them ? If they 
are nothing, it matters not whether they are tum- 
bled down or are left standing.'' He proceeds to a 
loftier subject, the question of the real presence; 
the higher question of the Christian symbolism, of 
which that of images is the lower side. It was on 
this point, chiefly, that Luther found himself at 
variance with the Swiss reformei-s, and that Carl- 
stadt was brought into union with them, however 
far removed he might be from them by the boldness 
of his political opinions. " I acknowledge, that if 
Carlstadt, or any one else, could have proved to me 
five years ago that the sacramental elements are 

* "Tlie spirit of these prophets has invariably chival- 
rousiy taken to flight, yet see how it glorifies itself as a 
magnanimous and chivalrous spirit. But I, I presented 
myself in Leipsic to dispute in presence of a hosiile popula- 
tion. I presented myself at Augsburg, witlunit safe-conduct, 
before my greatest enemies; at Worms, before Caesar and 
the whole empire, although well aware that the safe-conduct 
was trampled upon. My spirit has remained free, like a 
flower of the field." (ad. 1524.) 

A.D. 1523—1525. 



bread and wine only, he would have done me 
a great service. I was then strongly tempted, 
and writhed, and struggled, and should have been 
most happy to have found a solution of the 
mystery. I saw clearly that I might so givp 
papistry the most fearful blow. . . . There were 
two more who wrote to me on this point, and abler 
men than doctor Carlstadt; and who did not, like 
him, torture words to suit their fancy. But I 
am bound down, I cannot set myself free; the text 
is too powerful, nothing can tear it from my mind. 
Even now, if any one could convince by solid 
reasons that there is only bread and wine, there 
would be no need for attacking me so furiously. I 
am, unhappily, only too inclined to this interpreta- 
tion as often as I feel my Adam within me. But 
what doctor Carlstadt imagines and promulgates 
on this subject touches me so little, that I am but 
the more confirmed in my opinion ; and, if I had not 
before thought so, such idle tales found out of the 
Scriptures and in the clouds as it were, would be 
enough to convince me of the fallacy of his opinion." 
He liad previously written in the pamphlet, Against 
the Celestial Prophets : — " Carlstadt says that he can- 
not reasonably conceive how the body of Jesus Christ 
can be reduced into so small a compass. But if we 
consult reason, we shall no longer have faith in any 
mystery.". ... In the next page, Luther adds 
the following incredibly audacious piece of coarse 
humour: — " Yon seem to think that the drunkard, 
Christ, having drunk too much at supper, bewildered 
his disciples with superfluous words." 

This violent polemic war of Luther's on Carl- 
stadt, was daily embittered by the fearful symp- 
toms of general disturbance which threatened 
Germany. The doctrines of the bold theologian 
responded to the thoughts and desires which already 
filled the minds of the masses in Suabia, Thuringia, 
Alsace, and the whole western half of the empire. 
The lower classes, the peasantry, who had so long 
slumbered under the weight of feudal oppression, 
heard princes and the learned speak of liberty, of 
enfranchisement, and they applied to themselves 
that which was not spoken for them*. The 
reclamation of the poor peasants of Suabia will 
remain, in its simple barbarism, a monument of 
courageous moderation. By degrees, the eternal 
hatred of the poor to the rich was aroused; less 
blind than in the jacquerie, but striving after a 
systematic form, which it was only to attain after- 
wards, in the time of the English levellers, and com- 
plicated with all the forms of religious democracy, 
which were supposed to have been stifled in the 
• The peasants did not wait for the Reformation to break 
out into rebellion, but had risen up in 1491 and in 1502. 
The free towns had followed the example ; Erfurth in 1509, 
Spires in 1512, and Worms in 1513. Disturbances broke 
out again in 1524; but this was the nobles' doing. Franz 
of Sickingen, their leader, thought the moment was come 
for despoiling the ecclesiastical princes of their temporalities, 
and boldly laid siege to Treves. He is said to have been 
under the guidance of the celebrated reformers, CEcolam- 
padius and Bucer, and of Hutten, who, at the time, was in 
the service of the archbishop of Mentz. The duke of 
Bavaria, the palatine, and the landgrave of Hesse, ad- 
vanced to raise the siege, and were for attacking Mentz, in 
order to punish the archbishop for his personal connivance 
of tjickingen. This nobleman fell ; Hutten was exiled, and, 
from this moment without an asylum, but always writing, 
always violent and a prey to passion ; he died no long time 
afterwards in extreme want. 

middle age. Lollards, Beghards, and a crowd of 
apocalyptic visionaries were in motion. At a later 
moment, the rallying cry was the necessity for a 
second baptism: at the beginning, the aim was a 
terrible war against the established order of things, 
against every kind of order— a war on property, as 
being a robbery of the poor; a war on knowledge, 
as destructive of natural equality, and a tempting 
of God, who had revealed all to his saints. Books 
and pictures were inventions of the devil. The 
peasants first rose up in the Black Forest, and 
then around Heilbronn and Frankfort, and in the 
country of Baden and Spires; whence the flame 
extended into Alsace, and nowhere did it assume a 
more fearful character. It reached the Palatinate, 
Hesse, and Bavaria. The leader of the insurgents 
in Suabia was one of the petty nobles of the valley 
of the Necker, the celebrated Goetz of Berlichingen, 
Goetz with the Iron Hand, who pretended they had 
forced him to be their general against his will. 

" Complaint and Loving Demand of tlie Con- 
federation of Peasants, with their Christian prayers ; 
the whole set forth very briefly in twelve principal 
articles. — To the Christian reader, peace and divine 
grace through Christ ! There are, now-a-days, 
many anti-Christians who seize the occasion of the 
confederation of the peasants to blaspheme the 
Gospel, saying: 'These are the fruits of the new 
doctrines; obedience is at an end; each man starts 
up and spurns control; the people flock together 
and assemble tumultuously, seeking to reform and 
depose authorities, ecclesiastic and secular; and, 
perhaps, even to murder them.' To these perverse 
and impious allegations the following articles are 
answers. In the first place, they turn aside the dis- 
grace with which God's word is attempted to be 
covered; in the second, they, by Christian pi-oof, 
clear the peasants from the reproach of disobedi- 
ence and revolt. The Gospel is not a cause of in- 
surrection or of trouble ; it is a message which an- 
nounces the Christ, the promised Messiah; this 
message, and the life it teaches, are love, peace, 
patience, and union alone. Know, too, that all who 
believe in this Ck|-ist will be united in love, peace, 
and patience. Since, then, the articles of the 
peasants, as will be more distinctly shown hereafter, 
have no other aim than to secure the hearing of 
the Gospel, and the living in conformity with it, 
how can an ti- Christians call the Gospel a cause of 
ti'ouble and disobedience ? If the anti-Christians 
and the enemies of the Gospel oppose demands of 
the kind, it is not the Gospel which is the cause, it 
is the devil, the mortal enemy of the Gospel, who, 
through disbelief, has excited in his victims the ' 
hope of crushing and effacing God's word, which is 
only peace, love, and union. Hence, it clearly fol- 
lows that the peasants, who, in their articles, de- 
mand such a Gospel for their edification and the 
regulation of their life, cannot be called disobedient 
or revolters. If God calls and invites us to live ac- 
cording to his word, if he choose to hearken to us, 
who will blame God's pleasure, who impeach his 
judgment, who strive against what he wills to do i 
He heard the children of Israel when they cried unto 
him, and delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh. 
Cannot he still save his own at the present day ? 
Yes, he will save them, and speedily ! Read, then, 
the following articles. Christian reader; read them 
carefully, and judge." 
The articles follow : — 



A.D. 1523—1525. 

I. " In the first place, it is our humble prayer 
and request, our unanimous wish, to enjoy hence- 
forward the power and the right of electing and 
choosing a pastor ourselves, with the power of de- 
posing him if he conduct himself improperly. The 
pastor whom we choose must preach the holy Gos- 
pel to us clearly, in its purity, without any additions 
of human precept or command. For, by always 
having the true faith declared to us, we are enabled 
to pray to God, to beseech his grace, to form this 
ti'ue faith within us, and to strengthen it. If the 
divine grace be not formed within us, we still re- 
main flesh and blood, and then we are worthless. 
'Tis clearly seen in Scripture that we can only reach 
God by the true faith, and attain beatitude by his 
mercy. Such a guide and pastor, then, fulfilling 
his office as instituted in Scripture, is indispensable 
to us." 

II. " Since the lawful tenth is established in the 
Old Testament (which the New has confirmed in 
everything), we will pay the lawful tenth of grain, 
but after suitable sort. , . . Being henceforward 
minded that the elders of a district receive and col- 
lect such tenth, supply the pastor elected by the 
district with sufficient for the fit support of him- 
self and family, acquainting the district therewith, 
and apply the remainder to the relief of the poor: 
any surplus beyond should be reserved for the 
charges of war, of convoy, and other like things, so 
as to relieve poor folk from the taxes levied on 
those accounts. If, on the other hand, it be found 
that one or more villages have, in the hour of want, 
sold their tithes, the purchasers shall have nothing 
to fear from us, for we will enter into arrangements 
with them according to circumstances, so as to in- 
demnify them proportionally as we shall be able. 
But as for those who, instead of acquiring the tithe 
of a village by purchase, have — either they or their 
ancestors — forcibly taken possession of it, we owe 
them nothing and shall give them nothing; this 
tithe is to be employed as specified above. With 
regard to small tithes, and the tithe of blood (of 
cattle), we will in no wise pay them, for God the 
Lord created animals to be fre^y used by man. 
We consider this tithe to be an unlawful tithe, in- 
vented by men; wherefore we shall no more pay it." 

In their Ilird article the peasants declare 
that they will no longer be treated as the property 
of their lords, " for Jesus Christ, by his precious 
blood, has redeemed all without exception, the 
shepherd the same as the emperor." They will be 
free, but only according to Scripture ; that is to 
say, without any licentiousness, and duly recog- 
nizing authority ; for the Gospel teaches them to 
be humble, and to obey the powers that be " in all 
fitting and Cliristlan tlnmji'." 

IV. "It is contrary to justice and charity that 
the poor should have no right in game, in birds, 
and in the fish of the running waters, or that they 
should be compelled to endure, without remon- 
strance, the enormous damage done to their fields 
by the beasts of the forests, since when God 
created man, he gave him power over all animals 
without distinction." They add, that in conformity 
with Gospel precepts, they will respect the rights 
of those nobles who can prove by title-deeds that 
they purchased their right of fishing ; but that the 
rest shall lose all without indemnity. 

V. "Those woods and forests which wei-e anciently 
held in common, but have passed into the hands 

of a third party in any other way than by fair 
purchase, ought to return to their original pro- 
prietary, that is, to the commune ; and every 
inhabitant should have the right to take out of 
them such proportions of fuel as shall seem good to 
the elders." 

VI. They require the services imposed upon 
them, and which daily become more oppressive, to 
be alleviated; desiring to serve " like their fathers, 
after God's word." 

VII. The seignior must not require more gra- 
tuitous services from the peasants than is prescribed 
by their mutual covenant ( Vereinigung). 

VIII. The rents on many lands are grievously 
burthensome. The lords are required to accept 
the arbitrement of ii-reproachable persons, and to 
lower the rents according to equity, " that the 
peasant may not toil in vain, since the labourer is 
worthy of his hire." 

IX. Justice is partially administered, and new 
penalties constantly imposed. No one is to be 
favoui-ed, and the ancient rules to be the law. 

X. All fields and meadows taken from the 
common land, otherwise than by equitable pur- 
chase, to return to the commune. 

XI. Fines on deaths are revolting, and in open 
opposition to God's will, "being a spoiling of the 
widow and the orphan," and are to be wholly and 
for ever abolished. 

XII " If it happen that any one or 

more of the preceding articles be opposed to Scrip- 
ture (which we do not think is the case), we 
renounce such beforehand. If, on the contrary, 
Scripture suggest to us any others on the oppi-es- 
sion of one's neighbour, we reserve all such, and 
declare our adhesion to them equally beforehand. 
May the peace of Jesus Christ be with us all ! 

Luther could not be silent at this great crisis. 
The nobles accused him of being the originator of 
these troubles. The peasants availed themselves 
of his name, and prayed him to be the arbitei-. 
He did not shrink from the dangerous office ; and 
in his reply to their twelve articles, acts as judge 
between the prince and the people. In none of his 
writings has he displayed more elevation. 

Exhortation to Peace, in reply to the Ttcelre 
Articles of the Peasants of Suabia, and also in oppo- 
sition to the spirit of murder and robbery evinced by 
the other peasants riotously assembled. " The pea- 
sants now assembled in Suabia have just di'awn up 
and circulated, in print, twelve articles, containing 
their complaints against the powers that be. What 
I most approve of in this document, is their 
declaration in the twelfth article, of their readi- 
ness to receive any better evangelical instruction 
than their own on the subject of their griefs. In 
fact, if such be their true intentions (and as they 
have avowed their designs in the face of men, 
without fearing the light, I cannot conclude other- 
wise, a happy end to all these troubles may yet 
be looked for. And I, who am also of those who 
make the Holy Scriptures their study on this 
earth, I, to whom they apply by name (appealing 
to me ill one of their printed statements), I feel 
myself singularly emboldened by this declaration of 
theirs to publish to the world my opinion also on 
the subject in question, in confoi-mity with the 
precepts of charity which ought to bind all men 
together. By so doing, I shall free myself both 

A.D. 1523—1525. 



before God and men from the reproach of having 
contributed to the evil by silence, should this end 
fatally. Perhaps, too, they have only made this 
declaration by waj' of a blind ; and, no doubt, 
there are enow evil-disposed persons amongst 
thera for this, since it is impossible that all should 
be good Christians in so vast a multitude ; it is 
the more likely that many of them make the 
honesty of the rest a cloak for their own evil 
designs. Well, if there be imposture in tliis 
declaration, I forewarn the impostors that they 
will not succeed, and that success would be their 
damnation, their eternal loss. This business in 
which we are engaged is great, and full of peril ; 
affecting both the kingdom of God and that of 
the world. In fact, if the revolt should spread 
and be triumphant, both would perish ; both 
secular government and God's word, and the 
whole land of Germany would be laid waste. 
Under such grave circumstances, then, we feel 
impelled to give our advice freely on all things, 
and without regard to persons. At the same 
time, we are all of us no less bounden to be- 
come at last attentive and obedient, and to 
cease closing our ears and hearts, the which has 
called forth the fulness of God's wrath and his 
most fearful thunders (seinen volleii Gang und 
Schicamj). The numerous alarming sights which 
have in these latter times appeared in heaven and 
earth, announce great calamities and unheard-of 
changes to Germany. To our misfortune, we have 
been but little moved by them ; but God will not 
the less pursue the course of his chastisements, 
until he at last softens our heads of iron." 

First Part. To the Princes and Nobles. — " We 
have no one on earth to thank for all this disorder 
and insurrectionary movement, if it be not you, ye 
princes and lords, and you, above all, ye blind 
bishops, insensate priests and monks, who, even to 
this day, hardened in your perversity, cease not to 
exclaim against the holy Gospel, albeit you know it 
for just and good, and that you can say nothing 
against it. At the same time, as secular authori- 
ties, you are the executioners and leeches of the 
poor, sacrificing every thing to your unbridled 
luxury and pride, until the people neither will nor 
can endure you any more. The sword is already at 
your throats, and you yet think yourselves so firm 
in the saddle that you cannot be overthrown. With 
this impious security of yours, you will break your 
necks. Many a time have I exhorted you to bear 
in mind this verse (Psalm cvii.), ' Effiindit con- 
temptum super principes' (He poureth contempt 
upon princes). You are doing your utmost to have 
these words fulfilled in you ; you will have the 
mace, already uplifted, fall and crush you ; ad- 
vices, counsels, are superfluous. Nevertheless, the 
signs of God's wrath on earth and in the heavens 
are addressed to you. 'Tis you, and your crimes, 
that God wishes to punish. If these peasants who 
attack you now are not the ministers of his will, 
others will arise. Should you defeat them, you 
would no less be conquered. God would raise up 
others. He wishes to strike you, and he will strike 
you. You fill up the measm-e of your iniquity, by 
imputing this calamity to the Gospel, and to my 
teaching. Go on calumniating. You will now 
learn what my doctrine is, what the Gospel is ; 
there is another at the door who will teach you, if 
you do not amend. Have 1 not ever zealously and 

ardently exhoi-ted the people to obedience unto 
authority, even to yom-s, tyrannical and intolerable 
as it has been ? Who has combated sedition more 
than I ? And so the prophets of murder hate me 
as much as you do. You persecuted my Gospel by 
every means in your power, whilst this Gospel was 
inducing the people to pray for you, and aiding to 
keep up your tottering power. And, truly, if I 
sought revenge, I need now only laugh in my sleeve, 
and look on whilst the peasants are at their work : 
I might even make common cause with thera, and 
envenom the wound. God preserve me from 
such thoughts ! Wherefore, dear lords, friends or 
enemies, scorn not my loyal aid, albeit I am but a 
poor man ; scorn not either this i-ebellion, I beseech 
you: not that I mean to say that they are too 
strong for you; it is not they I would have you 
fear, but God, the angry Lord. If he wishes to 
punish you (you have only deserved it too well), 
he will punish you ; and if there be not peasants 
enough, he will change the stones into peasants — 
one, in his hands, would slay a hundred of yours. 
As many as you are, neither your cuii'asses, nor 
your might, would save you. 

" If you are still open to advice, dear lords, in 
God's name, retreat a little from before the wrath 
which you see let loose. One fears and shuns a 
drunken man. Cease your exactions; give truce to 
your sharp tyranny; treat the peasants as a man in 
his senses treats madmen, or the drunken. Do not 
plunge into a struggle with them; you cannot 
know how it mil end. Employ mildness at first, 
for fear a slight spark, spreading all around, should 
kindle throughout Germany such a fire as cannot 
be extinguished. You will be no losers by mild- 
ness ; and even if you should, peace will indemnify 
you a hundred-fold. War may engulph and ruin 
you, body and soul. The peasants have drawn up 
twelve articles, some of which contain such just 
demands, as to dishonour you before God and 
men, and to reahse Psalm cvii., for they cover 
the princes with contempt. Now I could easily 
draw up other articles against you, and more im- 
portant ones, perhaps, as regards your government 
of Germany, as I have done in my book To the 
German Nobility. But my words have been to you 
as the passing wind; and therefore, you have now 
to undergo all these reclamations from peculiar in- 
terests. As to the first article, you cannot deny 
them the fi-ee choice of their own pastors. They 
wish to have the Gospel preached to them. Autho- 
rity cannot and ought not to hinder this, but ought 
to allow every one to teach and to believe what he 
thinks right, whether it be the Gospel or falsehood : 
it is enough to prohibit the preaching of disorder 
and sedition. The other articles, touching the 
material condition of the peasants, fines on deaths, 
accumulation of services due, &c., are equally just; 
for authority was not instituted for its own interests, 
or to make subjects the tools of its caprices and bad 
passions, but for the interest of the people. Now 
yoiu' crying exactions cannot be long endm-ed. 
What would it benefit the peasant to see his fields 
bear as many florins as blades of grass, or grains of 
wheat, if his lord should despoil him in the same pro- 
portion, and waste, like straw, the money he draws 
from him, in dress, castles, and feastings ? What 
it most behoveth to do, is to retrench all this luxury, 
and stop up the holes by which money escapes, so 
that something may be left in the peasant's pocket. 



A.D. 1523—1525. 

Second Part. To the Peasants. — "Thus far, 
dear f'rieuds, jou have seen but one side. I have 
set forth that the princes and lords who pro- 
hibit the preaching of the Gospel, and who bow 
down the people with intolerable burthens, have 
deserved that God should hurl them from their 
seats, for they have sinned against God and man, 
and are without excuse. Nevertheless, it is for 
you to prosecute your enterprise conscientiously 
and justly. If you are conscientious, God will 
aid you ; though you should even momentarily 
succumb, you would eventually triumph ; such 
of you as should fall in the struggle would be 
saved. But if justice and conscience be against 
you, you will succumb ; and though even you 
should not succumb, but slay all the princes, you 
would be none the less lost for ever, body and 
soul. This is no jesting matter. Your bodies and 
life eternal are at stake. You have to weigh well, 
not your strength and the wrongs of your adver- 
saries, but whether you are proceeding justly and 
conscientiously. Believe not, I beseech you, the 
prophets of murder whom Satan has raised up 
amongst you, and who come from him, although 
they invoke the holy name of Gospel. They will 
hate me for this advice which I am giving jou, and 
will call me hypocrite ; but I care not. My wish 
is to save from God's wrath the good and honest 
amongst you ; I fear not the rest, and reck not of 
their contempt. I know One who is stronger than 
them all ; and He teaches me, by Psalm iii., to do 
what I am now doing. The huudx'ed thousand 
affright not me 

" You call on God's name, and pretend to act 
according to his word. Then, forget not, above 
all, that God punishes him who calls upon his name 
in vain. Dread his wrath. Who are you, and 
what is the world ? Forget you that He is the 
omnipotent and terrible God, the God of the de- 
luge, and who rained his thunders upon Sodom ? 
Now, it is plain, that you honour not his name. 
Does not God say, ' They that take the sword, shall 
perish with the sword V And St. Paul, ' Be ye all 
obedient to authoi'ity in all respect and honour V 
How can you, after this, still pretend that you act 
according to the Gospel ? Beware; a fearful judg- 
ment awaits you. But, you saj', authority is 
wicked, intolerable, will not allow us the Gospel, 
overwhelms us with burthens beyond all measure, 
is ruining us, body and soul. To this I reply, 
that the iniquity and injustice of authority are no 
excuse for revolt, for the punishment of the wicked 
does not appertain to every man. Besides, the 
natural law says, that no one should be judge in 
his own cause, or avenge himself, for the Pi'overb 
truly says, ' To strike the striker is naught.' The 
divine law teaches us the same thing : ' Ven- 
geance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.' 
Your enterprise, therefore, is not only contrary to 
law, according to the Bible and the Gospel, but also 
to the natural law and simple equity. You cannot 
go on with it except you can prove that you have 
been called to it by a new commandment of God's, 
directed to yourselves, and confirmed by miracles. 
You see the mote in the eye of authority, but you 
cannot see the beam in your own. Authority is 
unjust in interdicting you the Gospel, and over- 
whelming you with burthens ; but how much more 
unjust are you, who, not content with interdicting 
God's word, trample it under foot, and arrogate the 

power reserved to God alone ? Again, who is the 
greater thief, (yourselves shall be the judge,) he 
who takes a part, or he who takes all ? Now, 
authority takes your goods unjustly from you ; but 
you strip it, not of goods only, but of body and 
life. You assert loudly, it is true, that you will 
leave it something ; who will believe you 1 You 
have taken power from it ; who takes all does not 
fear to take part ; when the wolf devours the sheep, 
it devours ears as well. 

" And how is it you do not see, my friends, that 
if your doctrine were true, there would no longer 
be on earth authority, order, or justice of any kind ? 
Each would be his own judge ; and there would 
be nothing to be seen but murder, desolation, and 
robbery. What would you do, if, assembled as you 
now are, each affected to be independent, to do him- 
self justice, and be his own avenger 1 Would you 
allow it ? Would you not say, that judgment be- 
longs to one's superiors 1 This law must be alike 
observed, by pagans, Turks, and Jews, if there is 
to be order and peace on earth. So far from bemg 
Christians, you are worse than pagans and Turks. 
What will Jesus Christ say, seeing his name so 
profaned by you ? Dear friends, I greatly fear 
Satan has sent amongst you prophets of murder, 
who covet the empire of this world, and who think 
to compass it through you, careless of the dangers, 
spiritual and temporal, into which they are plung- 
ing you. 

" But, now, to pass to the Gospel law. This 
does not bind pagans like the law of which we 
have just been treating. Does not Jesus Christ, 
from whom ye are named Christians, say, ' Resist 
not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the 
right cheek, turn to him the other also ?'.... 
Do you hear him, ye assembled Christians 1 How 
does your conduct square with this command ? If 
you know not how to endure, as our Lord requires, 
quickly resign his name; you are unworthy of it; 
or he will suddenly deprive you of it himself." 
(Here Luther quotes other scriptural injunctions to 
forbearance.) " Suffer, suffer — the cross, the cross 
— this is the law of Christ; there is none other. . . . 
Ah ! my friends, if you act thus, when will you attain 
unto that other command which bids you love your 
enemies and do them good ? . . . Oh ! would to 
God that the greater number of us were rather 
good and pious pagans, observing the natural law ! 
To show you how far you have been led astray by 
your prophets, I have only to remind you of some 
examples which tlirow light on the law of the 
Gospel. Look at Jesus Christ and St. Peter in the 
gai'den of Gethsemane. Did not St. Peter suppose 
that he was doing right in defending his Master 
and his Lord from those who were about to deliver 
Him to the executioners ? And yet, you know that 
Jesus Christ upbraided him as a murderer for hav- 
ing resisted sword in hand. Again: what is the 
conduct of Jesus Christ on the cross ? Does he not 
pray for his persecutors ? does he not say, ' Father, 
forgive them, they know not what they do ?' And 
was not Jesus Christ glorified after having suffered, 
and has not his kingdom prevailed and triumphed ? 
In like manner, God would aid you if you knew how 
to suffer as he requires. To take an example of 
the pi-esent day: how has it happened that neither 
emperor nor pope could anything against me ? 
The greater their efforts to stay and destroy the 
Gospel, the greater its growth and power. I have 

A.D. 1523—1525. 



drawn no sword, raised no revolt, liave ever 
preached obedience to authority even when perse- 
cuting me, have relied always on God, and put my 
trust in him. Hence, despite the pope and tyrants, 
he has not only preserved my life, itself a miracle, 
but has favoured and diffused my Gospel more and 
more. And how, now, are you thinking to serve 
the Gospel by directly contravening it ? In truth, 
you are inflicting a fearful wound on it in the minds 
of men; crushing it, if 1 may so say, by your per- 
verse and mad attempts. 

" I tell you all this, dear friends, to show you how 
you profane Christ's name and his holy laws. 
However just your demands may be, it becomes not 
a Christian to fight or to use violence: we must 
suffer injustice; such is our law. (1 Cor. vi.) 1 
repeat to you, then, act now as you like; but lay 
aside the name of Christ, and do not shamefully 
take it as a cloak for your impious conduct. I 
will not permit it. I will not tolerate it. I 
will tear this name from you by every effort 
of which I am capable, to the last drop of my 

blood Not that I wish by this to 

justify authority; the injuries inflicted by it are, I 
acknowledge, immense; but what I wish is that, if, 
unhappily, (may God avert it !) if, I say, you come 
into collision, men may call neither party Christians. 
It will be a war of pagans, and nothing else; for 
Christians do not fight with swords and harque- 
busses, but with the cross and patience; even as 
their general, Jesus Christ, does not handle the 
sword, but suffers himself to be bound to the cross. 
Their triumph does not consist in dominion and 
power, but in submission and humility. The arms 
of our chivalry have no corporeal efficacy; their 
strength is in the Most High. 

" Call yourselves, then, men who wish to follow 
nature, and not endure evil. Such is the name 
which suits you ; and if you do not take it, but 
persist in retaining and constantly calling upon the 
name of Christ, I can only consider you as my 
enemies, as those of the Gospel, like the pope and 
the emperor. Now, know that in this case I have 
made up my mind to refer myself wholly to God, 
and to implore him, in order to enlighten you, to turn 
against you, and to shipwreck your enterprise. I 
shall so risk my life, as 1 have done by opposing 
the pope and the emperor ; for I see plainly that 
the devil having been unable to get the better of 
me through them, seeks to exterminate and de- 
vour me through the prophets of murder who are 
among you. Well, let hira devour me ; the morsel 
will not be easy of digestion. However, dear 
friends, I humbly pray you, and as a friend who 
wishes your good, to reflect well before you proceed 
further, and to spare me fighting and praying 
against you ; albeit I myself am but a poor sinner, 
still I know that I should be so justified in tliis 
matter that God would infaflibly listen to my 
prayers. He has himself taught us in the holy 
Pater Noster, to pray that his name may be halloiced 
on earth as it is in heaven. It is impossible for you 
to have the same trust in God ; since Scripture and 
your conscience condemn you, and tell you that you 
are acting like pagans and enemies of the Gospel' If 
you were Christian you would not be using the fist 
and sword, but saying, ' Bdhxr us from evll,^ and 
' Thy will be done' (here follow texts from Scripture 
in illustration). But you wish yourselves to be your 
own God and Saviour ; the true God, the true 

Saviour abandon you then. The demands which 
you have drawn up are not contrary to natural 
law and equity in their tenor, but in the violence 
with which you would force them from authority ; 
and he who has drawn them up is not a pious and 
sincere man, for he has referred to numerous 
chapters from Scripture, without citing the verses, 
in order to throw an air of speciousness around your 
entei'prise, and to seduce you and plunge you into 
dangers. On reading these chapters, one does not 
see much bearing on your enterprise, but the con- 
trary rather ; to wit, to live and act Christianly. 
He must, I take it, be a seditious prophet who 
would wish to attack the Gospel through you. 
May God be pleased to oppose him, and to keep 
you from him. 

" In the first place, you boast in your preface, of 
only asking to be allowed to live according to the 
Gospel. But do you not yourselves confess that 
you are in rebellion ? And how, I ask you, have 
you the audacity to colour such conduct with the 
holy name of the Gospel I You cite the example 
of the children of Israel ; you say that God heard 
the cries they raised unto him, and delivered them. 
Why then not follow this boasted example ? Call 
on God, as they did, and wait till he send you also 
a Moses, who will prove his mission by his mira- 
cles. The children of Israel did not rebel against 
Pharaoh ; they did not combine for mutual aid as 
you propose to do. This example then is directly 
adverse to you, and damns instead of saving you. 
No more is it true that your articles, as you pro- 
claim in your preface, teach the Gospel, and are m 
conformity with it. Is there one out of the twelve 
which contains any point of evangelical docti-ine ? 
Have they not all the one single object of enfran- 
chising your persons and your goods ? Do they 
not all treat of temporal things ? You, you covet 
power and worldly goods, and will endure no 
wrong. The Gospel, on the contrary, takes no 
care of these matters, and makes external Ufe con- 
sist in suffering, in bearing injustice, the cross, in 
patience, and contempt of life and of all worldly 
matters. You must either then renounce your 
enterprise, and consent to suffer wrong, if you 
wish to bear the name of Christians ; or else, 
if you persist in your resolution, lay down this 
name and take another. Choose ; there is no 
alternative. You say that the Gospel is hindered 
from reaching you. I reply, that there is no 
power earthly or heavenly which can hinder it. 
Public teaching marches free under the heavens; 
and is as little bound to any place as the star 
which, traversing the clouds, announced to the 
wise men of the East the birth of Jesus Christ. . . 
If the Gospel be interdicted the town or village in 
which you are* follow it wheresoever it may be 
preached. . . Jesus Christ has said (Matthew x.), 
'But when they persecute you in this city, flee 
ye into another.' He does not say, 'If they per- 
secute you, stay there, conspire against the lords 
in the name of the Gospel, and make yourselves 
masters of the town.' What then are those Chris- 
tians who, in the Gospel's name, turn robbers and 
thieves ? Have they the effrontery to call them- 
selves evangelical ? " 

Reply to first article:—" If the authorities will 
not cheerfully support the pastor desired by the 
commune, the latter," says Luther, " may charge 
itself with his support. If the authorities will not 



A.D. 1523—1525. 

tolerate the said pastor, let the faithful follow him 
into another commune." 

Reply to the second article: — "You desire to 
dispose of a tithe which is not yours; this would 
be a robbery. If you wish to do good, do it out 
of your own means, not those of others. God 
says through Isaiah, 'A stolen offering I detest.'" 

Reply to the third article:—" You wish to apply 
to the flesh the Christian liberty taught by the 
Gospel. Had not Abraham and the other patri- 
archs, as well as the prophets, slaves ? Read 
St. Paul ; the empire of this world cannot subsist 
without inequality of persons." 

Reply to the eight last articles: — " As to your 
articles touching game, fuel, services, rent, &c., I 
refer them to the lawyers, it is not for me to judge 
of them; but I repeat to you that the Christian is 
a martyr, and has no care for all these things. 
Cease, then, speaking of Christian law, and rather 
say it is human law, the natui'al law which you 
claim; for the Christian law commands you to 
suffer, as regards these matters, and to complain 
to God alone." 

" Dear friends, such is my teaching in reply to 
I your request to me. May it be God's will that you 
faithfully keep your promise, and be guided 
according to Scripture. Do not all cry out at 
once — Luther is a flatterer of princes; he speaks 
contrary to the Gospel; but read first, and con- 
sider whether what I say is not founded on God's 

"Exhortation to both parties: — Since, then, my 
friends, you neither of you are maintaining a 
Christian cause, but acting alike against God, 
forego, I beseech you, all violence. Otherwise, 
you will cover all Germany with horrible and 
endless carnage. For as you are both equally 
involved in injustice, you will but rush to mutual 
destruction, and God will chastise one offender by 
i the other. 

" You, lords, have Scripture and history against 
you, which teach you the punishment which has 
ever followed tyranny. You are yourselves ty- 
rants and executioners, for you interdict the 
Gospel. There is no hope, then, that you will 
escape the fate which has hitherto visited your 
equals. Consider the empires of the Assyrians, 
the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, how they 
all perished by the sword after having begun by 
the sword. God wished to prove that it is he 
who judges the earth, and that no injustice shall 
remain unpunished. 

" You, peasants, you, too, have Scripture and 
experience against you. Revolt has never ended 
well, and God has sternly cared that the text, 
' They that take the sword, shall perish with the 
sword,' shall not be a deceitful oite. Though you 
should conquer all the nobles; when conquerors of 
the nobles, you would turn upon and rend your- 
selves like wild beasts. The Spirit not reigning 
over you, but flesh and blood only, it would not 
be long before God would send an evil spirit, 
a destroying spirit, as he did to Sichem and its 

" What fills me with grief and pity (and would 
to heaven that it could be redeemed with my life !) 
are the two irreparable misfortunes which must 
fall upon both parties. In the first place, as you 
all fight for injustice, it is inevitable that those 
who shall perish in the struggle will be evei'last- 

i- . 

ingly lost, body and soul; for they will die in their 
sins, without repentance, and unsuccoured by grace. 
The other misfortune is, that Germany will be laid 
waste; such a carnage once begun, there will be 
no ceasing until the destruction is complete. It is 
easy to commence the battle, but beyond our 
power to stop it. Madmen, what have those 
children, women, and old men, done to you whom 
you are hurrying to ruin with you, that you should 
fill the country with blood and rapine, and make 
so many widows and orphans ? Oh ! Satan is 
rejoicing ! God has waxed into his most fearful 
wrath, and threatens to let him loose upon us. 
Beware, dear friends; all are involved. What 
will it benefit you to damn yourselves gaily for 
ever, and to leave behind you a land ensanguined 
and desert ? Wherefore, my advice would be to 
choose some counts and lords from the nobility, 
and an equal number of councillors from the 
towns, and to entrust them with the amicable 
arrangement of the matters in dispute. You, 
lords, if you will listen to me, will renounce that 
outrageous pride of which you must at last divest 
yourselves, and will relax your tyranny so that 
the poor man also may enjoy a little ease. You, 
peasants, you will give way on your side, and 
will abandon some of your articles, which go too 
far. On this wise, matters will not, indeed, be 
treated according to the Gospel, but they will at 
least be arranged conformably with human law. 

" If you do not (which may God forfend !) follow 
some such plan, I cannot hinder you from coming 
into collision; but I shall be innocent of the loss of 
your souls, of your blood, of your goods. Your 
sins will lie at your own door. I have told you 
this is no struggle of Christians with Christians, but 
of tyrants and oppressors with robbers and profa- 
ners of the name of the Gospel. Those who shall 
perish will be everlastingly damned. For me, I 
and mine will pray to God to reconcile you, and to 
restrain you from proceeding to the extremes you 
contemplate. Nevertheless, I cannot conceal from 
you that the terrible signs which have been made 
manifest in these latter times sadden my soul, and 
fill me with fear lest God's wrath be too livelily 
kindled, and he may exclaim, as in Jeremiah: 
' Though these three men, Noah, Job, and Daniel, 
were in it, they only shall be delivered, but the 
land shall be desolate.' God grant that you may fear 
his wrath, and amend, that the calamity may at 
least be deferred ! Such are the counsels which, 
my conscience bears me witness, I tender you as a 
Christian and a brother; God grant they bring 
forth fruit. Amen !" 

The biographical character of this work, and the 
limits within which we must restrict it, do not allow 
us to enter into the history of this German jacqticrle. 
(See, however, the Additions and Illustrations.) We 
must be contented here with citing the sanguinary 
proclamation issued by Dr. Thomas MUnzer, the 
leader of the Thuringian peasants, which contrasts 
strikingly with the mild and moderate tone obser- 
vable in the twelve ai-ticles given above: — 
" The true fear of God before all. 

" Dear brethren — How long will you slumber ? 
Will you for ever disobey God's will, because, in 
your limited comprehension, you deem yourselves 
abandoned I How often have I repeated my ex- 
hortations ! God cannot longer reveal himself. 
You must be firm; if not, sacinfice and griefs will all 

A.D. 1523— ir(25. 


liave been in vain. I forewarn you, your sufferings 
will in such case, re-commence. We must either 
suffer in God's cause, or become martyrs to the 
devil. Be firm, then; give not way to fear or sloth ; 
cease from flattering dreamers and impious wretches 
who have wandered from the path. Arise, and 
fight the Lord's fight. Time presses. Make your 
brethren respect God's testimony; otherwise, all 
will perish. Germany, France, Italy, are wholly 
up in arms; the Master wishes to play his game; the 
horn* of the evil-doers is come. At Fulda, dui'ing 
Passion week, four churches of the bishopric were 
sacked: the peasants of Klegen in Hegau, and 
those of the Black Forest, have risen to the 
number of three hundred thousand. Their mass 
increases daily. All my fear is, that these silly 
ones may be ensnared into some deceitful compact, 
the disastrous consequences of which they cannot 
foresee. Though you should be but three, yet, 
confiding in God and seeking his honour and glory, 
a hundred thousand enemies would not affright you. 
Up, up, up ! (JDran, dran, dran !) 'Tis time; the 
wicked tremble. Be without pity, though even 
Esau should speak you fairly. (Gen. xxxiii.) Listen 
not to the groans of the impious: they will suppli- 
cate you most tenderly; they will weep like children; 
be not moved by them ; God forbade Moses to be 
so (Deut. vii.), and has made a revelation to us of 
the same prohibition. Raise the towns and vil- 
lages, above all, the miners of the mountains. . . . 
Up, up, up, whilst the fire is heating; let not the 
sword, warm with blood, have time to chill. Forge 
Nimrod on the &xi\\\, pink pank. Slay all in the 
tower; whilst they shall live, you will never be freed 
from the fear of men. One cannot speak of God to 
you, as long as they reign over you. Up, up, 
up, whilst it is day. God goes before you; follow. 
The whole of this history is described and explained 
in St. Matthew, c. xxiv. Be not then afraid. God 
is with you, as it is said, c. ii., paragraph 2. God 
tells you to fear nothing. Fear not numbers. 'Tis 
not your battle, 'tis the Lord's; 'tis not you who 
fight. Be bold, and you will experience the power 
of succours from on high. Amen. Given at Miil- 
hausen, in 1525. Thomas Munzer, God's servant 
against the wicked." 

In a letter to the elector Frederick and duke 
John, Luther draws a comparison between himself 
and Miinzer. " As to me, I am only a poor man, 
and began my undertaking with fear and trembling, 
like St. Paul, as he himself confesses (1 Cor. ii. 
3 — 6), he who, nevertheless, could boast of having 
heard a heavenly voice. I hear not such voices, 
and am not sustained by the Spirit. With what 
humble and apologetic frame of mind did I not 
begin to attack the pope ! What internal struggles 
did I not go through ! What supplications did I 
not address to God ! My first publication attests 
this. Yet, with this poor spirit of mine, I have 
done what this terrible world-cracking ( Weltfresscr- 
f/eist,) spirit has not yet dared to attempt*. I have 
held disputations at Leipzig, m the midst of a hos- 
tile population. I have attended the summons of 
ray greatest enemy to Augsburg. I have shown 
myself at Worms, before Ctesar and the whole em- 
pii-e, although well-aware that my safe-conduct was 
broken through, that craft and treachery were on 

* Munzer refused to dispute in any assembly, public or 
private, which was unfavourable to him. 

the watch for me. However weak and poor I then 
was, my heart, notwithstanding, assured me that 1 
behoved to enter Worms, although I should find 

there as many devils as tiles on the roofs I have 

been compelled, in my career, to meet in argument, 
without remission, one, two, three, no matter how 
many, and upon their own ground. Weak and 
poor in mind, I have been necessitated to stay 
by myself like the flower of the field ; I could 
select neither adversary, nor hour, nor place, 
nor mode of attack, nor distance to be observed, 
but have been necessitated to hold myself ready 
to answer the whole world, as the apostle teaches 
(1 St. Peter, iii. 15). And this spirit who has 
soared above us all as high as the sun above 
the earth, this spirit who barely regards us 
as insects and worms, requires an assembly of 
such as are favourable to him, and from whom 
he has nothing to fear, and refuses to reply to 
two or three challengers who would question him 
apart. The reason is, that we have no other 
strength than that which Jesus Christ gives us ; 
if he leave us to ourselves, the rustling of a leaf 
will make us tremble ; if he support us, our spirit 
is conscious within itself of the power and glory of 
the Lord. I am forced to vaunt myself, foolish 
though it be, and St. Paul was forced as well 
{2Cor. xi. 16) ; but would willingly refrain, could I 
do so in the presence of these lying spirits." 

Immediately after the defeat of the peasants, 
Melanchthon published a brief account of Miinzer, 
of course, singularly unfavourable to the conquered. 
He asserts, that Miinzer fled to Frankenhausen, 
where he concealed himself in a bed, and feigned 
to be sick, but was found out by a cavalier, and 
recognized through his portfolio. " Whilst he was 
being handcuffed, he kept crying out, and duke 
Geoi-ge saying to him, ' You are in pain, Thomas ; 
but those poor people who have been killed, pushed 
on to their death by you, have suffered more to- 
day;' ' They would not have it otherwise,' was his 
reply, bursting out into laughter, as if possessed by 
the devil. Miinzer confessed, on his examination, 
that he had long thought of reforming Christen- 
dom, and that the insurrection of the Suabian 
peasants had struck him as a favourable opportu- 
nity. He showed extreme pusillanimity in his last 
moments, and was so bewldered, as to be unable 
to repeat the Credo of himself. Duke Henry of 
Brunswick repeated it, and he said it after him. 
He also publicly confessed that he had acted erro- 
neously. With regard to the princes, he exhorted 
them to be less hard to the poor, and to read the books 
of Kings, saying, that if they followed his advice, 
they would never have similar dangers to fear. He 
was then decapitated. His head was fixed upon 
a pike, and remained exposed as an e.xample. 
Before his execution, he wrote to the inhabitants 
of Miilhausen, recommending his vfiie to them, and 
praying them not to avenge themselves on her. 
He added, that " before he quitted the world, he 
thought it his duty earnestly to exhort them to dis- 
continue the revolt, and avoid all fresh effusion of 

Whatever may have been the atrocities that 
sullied Miinzer and the peasants, one cannot but 
be surprised at the severity with which Luther 
speaks of their defeat. He could not pardon them, 
for having compromised the name of Reformation. 
" wretched spirits of troubles, where are now 



A.D. 1623-1525. 

the words with which you excited and stirred up 
poor people to revolt — when you said that they 
were God's people, that God fought for them, that 
any one of them could beat down a hundred ene- 
mies, that with a hat they could kill five at a blow, 
and that the stones fired from the arquebuss, in- 
stead of striking those opposite, would turn, and 
kill those who fired them ? Where now is Miinzer, 
with that sleeve in which he boasted he could catch 
all the missiles directed against his people ? What 
is now that God, who for near a year has prophe- 
sied by the mouth of Miinzer ? I am of opinion, 
that all the peasants ought to perish, rather than 
the princes and magistrates, since they take up 
the sword without divine authority. The peasants 
deserve no mercy, no tolerance, but the indignation 
of God and man." (May 30th, 1525.) " The pea- 
sants," he says elsewhere, " ai'e under the ban both 
of God and the emperor, and may be treated as 
mad dogs." In a letter dated the 21st of June, he 
enumerates the horrible massacres committed upon 
them by the nobles, without displaying the least 
sign of interest or pity. 

He showed more generosity towards his enemy 
Carlstadt, who was, at the time, exposed to the 
greatest dangers, and had infinite difficulty in 
justifying himself for having taught doctrines akin 
to those of Miinzer. He returned to Wittemberg, 
and humbled himself before Luther, who interceded 
for him, and obtained the elector's permission for 
his settling as a husbandman at Kemberg, which he 
desired to do. " I am grieved about the poor man ; 
and your grace knows that we should have pity on 
the unfortunate, especially when they are inno- 
cent." (Sept. 12th, 1525.) On Nov. 22nd, 1626, he 
again writes. ... " Doctor Carlstadt earnestly 
prays me to intercede with your grace to allow him 
to inhabit the city of Kemberg, as the malice of 
the peasants renders living in a village irksome to 
him. Now, as he has kept himself quiet up to the 
present time, and as he will be under the eye of 
the provost of Kemberg, I humbly beseech your 
electoral grace to grant his request, although your 
grace have already done much for him, and have 
even drawn suspicion and calumnies on yourself on 
his account. But so much the more abundantly will 
God return it to you. 'Tis for him to think of the 
safety of his soul — that is his concern; to treat him 
well as regards his bodily wants, is ours." 

" To all dear Christians into whose hands the 
present writing shall fall, the grace and peace of God 
our Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ; Doctor 
Martin Luther. — Doctor Andi-eas Carlstadt has just 
forwarded to me a small woi-k, in which he clears 
himself of the charge of having been one of the lead- 
ers of the rebels, and earnestly entreats me to get it 
printed, in order to save the honour of his name, and, 
perhaps, even his life, which is endangered through 
the haste with which they will hurry through the 
trial of the accused. Indeed it is reported that rapid 
proceedings are about to be instituted against many 
poor persons, and the innocent to be executed along 
with the guilty, without hearing or proof, in the 
wantonness of i-age ; and I much fear the cowardly 
tyrants, who before trembled at the fall of a leaf, 
waxing now so bold in glutting their rage, tliat, on 

the destined day, God will cast them down in their 
turn. Now, albeit doctor Carlstadt is my greatest 
enemy on questions of doctrine, and there is no 
hope of our agreeing on such points, the confidence 
with which he applies to me; in his hour of fear, 
rather than to those old friends of his who erst excit- 
ed him against me, shall not be deceived, and I shall 
gladly do him this service, and others, if possible." 
Luther goes on to express his hopes that, by God's 
grace, all will yet turn out well for Carlstadt, and 
that he will at the last renounce his errors touching 
the sacrament. At the same time, he defends him- 
self against any charge that may be brought on 
account of his conduct on this occasion, of his 
yielding a jot on doctrinal points ; whilst to any 
charge of excess of credulity, he replies, " That it 
becomes neither him nor any one to judge another's 
heart. ' Charity suffereth long,' says St. Paul ; 
and, elsewhere, ' Charity believeth all things, hopeth 
all things.' This, then, is my opinion. So long as 
doctor Carlstadt off'ers to take his trial, and to un- 
dergo fitting punishment should he be convicted of 
having taken part in the rebellion, I am bound to 
credit both his word and this writing of his, al- 
though previously inclined to consider himself and 
his friends animated with a seditious spirit, and am 
bound to aid him to procure the inquiry which he 

Luther next proceeds to ascribe much of what 
has happened, to the violence with which princes 
and bishops have opposed the spread of religion. 
" Hence that popular fury which, naturally, will 
not be appeased until the tyrants be low in the 
mud; since things cannot last when a master can 
only inspire fear instead of love. No, let us leave 
our black-coats and country squires to shut their 
ears against warnings : let them go on, let them go 
on; let them continue to accuse the Gospel of the 
evil which they have brought upon themselves; let 
them always say, ' What do I care for it V Soon 
will there come Another, who will answer them, 
' Yet a little while and there shall be nor prince 
nor bishop on the face of the earth.' Let them, 
then, alone; they will soon find what they have 
been so long looking for; the thing is set a-going. 
God grant they may yet repent in time! Amen. 
Therefore, I beseech nobles and bishops, and every 
one, to suffer doctor Carlstadt, on tliis solemn 
allegation of his that he can clear himself from all 
implication in the rebellion, to enter on his defence, 
for fear of tempting God more, and of the people's 
anger becoming more violent and justified. . . . He 
has never lied. He who has promised to hearken to 
the cries of the oppressed; and He wanteth not 
power to punish. May God grant us his grace. 
Amen." (a.d. 1525.) — " Germany, I fear me, is 
lost. Perish she must, since the princes will only 
employ the sword. Ah! they think that they can 
thus pluck out, hair by hair, the good God's beard. 
He will smite them on the cheek therefore." (a.d. 
152fi.) — " The spirit of these tyrants is impotent, 
cowardly, foreign from every honest thought. 
They deserve to be the slaves of the people, lint, 
by the grace of Christ, I am sufficiently avenged 
in the contempt I entertain for them, and for Satan, 
their god." (The end of December, 1525.) 

A.D. 1524—1527. 



A.D. 1524 — 1527. 


During the whole of this terrible tragedy of the 
war of the peasants, the theological war was raging 
against Luther. The Swiss and Rhenish reformers, 
Zwingle, Bueer, CEcolampadius, participated in 
Carlstadt's theological principles, differing from 
him in little save in their submission to the civil 
power. Not one of them would remain within the 
limits to which Luther desired to restrict the 
Reformation. Hard and frigid logicians, they 
daily effaced the traces of that antique Christian 
poesy which he sought to preserve. Less daring, 
but more dangerous still, the king of the literary 
world, the cold and ingenious Erasmus, rained 
fearful blows upon him. Zwingle and Bucer*, 
men of a political cast of mind, had long been 
striving to preserve, at any price, the apparent 
unity of Protestantism. Bucer, that grand architect 
of subtleties (Bossuet), concealed his opinions for 
some time from Luther, and even translated his 
German works. " No one," says Luther, " no one 
has translated my works into Latin more ably or 
exactly than master Bucer. He foists into them 
none of his vagaries touching the sacrament. Did 
I seek to display my inmost heart and thought in 
words, I could not do better." At another time, he 
seems to have detected the infidelity of the transla- 
tion. On September 13tli, 1527, he writes to a 
printei', that Bucer, in translating his works into 
Latin, had so altered certain passages as to pervert 
the sense ; " it is on this fashion that we have made 
the fathers heretics." And he begs him, should he 
reprint the volume, to prefix a preface from him- 
self, warning the reader of the changes introduced 
by Bucer. In 1527, he published a work against 
Zwingle and QEcolampadius, in which he styled 
them new Wickliffites, and denounced their opinions 
as sacrilegious and heretical. At length, in 1528, 
he said, " 1 know enough, and more than enough, 
of Bucer's iniquity to feel no surprise at his per- 
verting against me my own published sentiments 

on the sacrament Christ keep you, you who 

are living in the midst of these ferocious beasts, 
these vipers, lionesses, panthers, with almost more 
danger than Daniel in the lions' den." " I believe 
Zwingle to be worthy of a holy hate for his rash 
and criminal handling of God's word." (October 
27th, 1527.) "What a fellow is this Zwingle, 
with his rank ignorance of grammar and dia- 
lectics, not to speak of other sciences !" (November 
28th, 1527.) 

In a second publication against them, in 1528, 
he says, " I reject, and condemn as mere error, all 
doctrine which assumes the will to be free." This 
was the subject of his grand quarrel with Erasmus; 
which began in 1525, the year that Erasmus pub- 

• The learned of the sixteenth century generally trans- 
lated their proper names into Greek. So, Kuhhorn (Cow- 
horn) changed his name into tliat of Bucer; Hausschein 
(House-light) into fficolampadius ; Didier (from Desiderium, 
desire) into Erasmus; Schwarz-Erde (Black-earth) into 
Melanchthon, &c. Luther and Zwingle, the two popular 
reformers, are the only ones who retained their own proper 
appellations in the vulgar tongue. 

lished his De Lihero Arbitrio. Up to that time, they 
had been on friendly terras. Erasmus had frequently 
stood forth in defence of Luther; and the latter, in 
return, consented to respect the neutrality of 
Erasmus. The following letter proves that down to 
1524, Luther thought it expedient to observe some 
delicacy towards liim: — " This has been a long 
silence, dear Erasmus; and although I waited for 
you, as my superior, to break it, charity now seems 
to bid me make a commencement. I do not re- 
proach you with having kept aloof from us through 
fear of embarrassing the cause which you abetted 
against our enemies, the papists; and, indeed, the 
only annoyance I feel is your having harassed us with 
some sharp stings and bites in various passages of 
the works which you have published, to catch their 
favour or mitigate their anger. We see that the 
Lord has not yet granted you sufficient energy or 
understanding to attack these monsters freely and 
courageously, and we are not the men who would 
exact from you what is above your strength. We 
have respected in you your weakness, and the 
measure of God's gifts. The whole world must 
bear witness to your successful cultivation of that 
literature by which we arrive at a true under- 
standing of the Scriptures, and this gift of God's 
has been magnificently and wonderfully displayed 
in you; calling for all thanks. And so I have 
never desired to see you quit the distance which 
you keep, in order to enter our camp. Great, 
doubtless, would be the services you could render 
us by your talent and eloquence; but, since your 
heart fails, better serve with what He has given 
you. There was a fear that you might suffer 
yourself to be led away by our adversaries to 
attack our doctrine publicly, when I should feel 
bound to oppose you to your face; and I have 
quieted some of our friends who had written with 
the design of forcing you into the arena: hence, I 
should have been glad that the Hutten's Expostulatio, 
and still more that thy Hutten^s Spo7ige had not been 
published; a circumstance which may have taught 
you to feel how easy it is to wx-ite about moderation, 
and to accuse Luther of intemperance, but how 
difficult and impossible to practise these lessons 
except by a singular gift of grace. Believe it or 
not, Christ is my witness that I pity you from the 
bottom of my soul when I see such passions and 
hates against you, to which it were too much 
(weak and worldly as is your vii'tue to bear up 
against such storms) to suppose you insensible. 
Yet, perchance, our friends may be instigated by 
a lawful zeal, deeming themselves unworthily 
attacked by you. . . . For my own part, although 
irritable and often hurried away by anger to write 
bitterly, it has been in the case of the obstinate 
only; being merciful and mild to sinners generally, 
however insensate and iniquitous, as my conscience 
bears me witness, and numbers can tell. And 
thus I have restrained my pen, notwithstanding 
your goadings, and have resolved to restrain it, 
until you declare yourself openly. For what- 
ever be our points of disagreement, and with 
whatever impiety or dissimulation you express 
your disapprobation or your doubts on the 
most important pomts of religion, I neither can 
nor will accuse you of obstinacy. What steps 
take now ? On both sides there is exceeding ex- 
asperation. Might I be mediator, I would have 
them forbeax their furious attacks upon you, and 



A.n. 1524— 1&27. 

suffer your declining yeai's to sleep in peace in the 
Lord ; and they would do so, did they take into 
consideration your weakness and the greatness of 
our cause, which has long exceeded your small 
measure. We have advanced so far that we have 
scant need to fear for our cause, even though 
Erasmus should assemble all his forces against us. 
. . . However, there is some show of reason in 
our friends feeling so annoyed at your attacks ; 
for it is only human weakness to fidget and alarm 
itself about the name and authority of Erasmus. 
To be bitten by Erasmus but once, is a very diffei'- 
ent thing from being a prey to the attacks of all 
the papists put together. I have written to you 
thus, dear Erasmus, to prove my candour, and 
because I yearn that the Lord may grant you 
grace befitting your name. Should this be de- 
layed, yet I pray you to remain at least a spectator 
of our tragedy. Join not your forces to our ad- 
versaries ; publish no books against me, and I will 
publish none against you. As for those who com- 
plain of being attacked in Luther's name, remem- 
ber that they are men like you and me, to whom 
we must grant indulgence and pardon, and that, as 
St. Paul says, ' we must hear each other's burden.' 
Biting is enough ; we must beware of devouring 
one another. . . " (Api'il, 1524.) 

To Borner. " Erasmus knows less about pre- 
destination than even the sophists of the school. 
Erasmus is not formidable on this, any more than 
on any other Christian matter. I will not lunge at 
Erasmus, and shall let liim lunge at me once or 
twice, without parrying and returning the thrust. 
It is not wise in him to be preparing the strength 

of his eloquence against me I shall present 

myself confidently before the most eloquent Eras- 
mus, stammerer as I may be in comparison with 
him, and caring not for his credit, his name, or his 
reputation. I am not angi'y with Mosellanus's 
attaching himself to Erasmus rather than me. 
Tell him to he Erasmian with all his strength." 
(iMay 28th, 1522.) This forbearance could not last. 
The publication of the De Lihero Arbitrio was a 
declaration of war. Luther perceived that the 
true question was at last mooted. " What I 
esteem, what I laud in thee is, that thou alone 
hast touched the root of the subject, the whole 
gist of the matter, I mean free will. Thou dost 
not plague me with disputes foreign to the ques- 
tion, with the papacy, purgatory, indulgences, and 
other fooleries with which they have paid me off. 
Alone thou hast seized the knot, hast struck at the 
throat. Thanks, Erasmus ! ... It is irreligious, 
thou sayest, it is superfluous, a matter of pure 
curiosity, to inquire whether God be endowed with 
prescience, whether our will is operant as regards 
everlasting salvation, or is only acted upon by 
grace ; whether what good and evil we do, we do 
actively or passively ! . . Great God ! what then is 
religious, grave, useful I Erasmus, Erasmus, it is 
difficult to accuse thee of ignorance ; a man of thy 
years, living in the midst of Christian people, and 
who has so long meditated upon the Scriptures ! 
It is impossible to excuse, or to think well of thee. 
. . . What ! you, a theologian, you, a Christian 
doctor, not satisfied to abide by your oi'dinary 
scepticism, you to decide that those things are im- 
necessary, without which there is no longer God, 
nor Christ, nor Gospel, nor faith ; without which 
there remains nothing, I will not say of Chris- 

tianity, but of Judaism !" But all in vain is 
Luther powerful and eloquent; he cannot break 
asunder the bonds which entwine him. " Why," 
asks Erasmus, " does not God correct the viciousness 
of our will, since it is not in our power to control 
it ? or why does he impute it to us, since this 
viciousness of will is inherent in man ? . . . . The 
vessel says to the potter, ' Wherefore have you 
made me for the everlasting fire V . . . If man be 
not free, what is the meaning of precept, action, 
reward, in short, of all language ? Why speak of 
repentance, &c." Luther is exceedingly put to it 
to answer all this. " God speaks to us on this 
fashion," he says, " solely to convict us of our 
powerlessness if we do not implore his assistance. 
Satan said, ' Thou art free to act.' Moses said, 
' Act ;' in order to convict us before Satan of our 
mability to act." A cruel and seemingly silly 
answer ; equivalent to tying our legs, and then 
bidding us walk, and punishing us every time we 
fall. Recoiling from the consequences which 
Ei'asmus either deduces or hints at, Luther re- 
jects every system of interpretation for the Scrip- 
ture, and yet finds himself obliged to have recourse 
to interpretation in order to escajjo the conclusions 
of his adversary. For instance, he explains the 
" / will harden Pharaoh's heart," as follows : " God 
does evil in us, that is to say, through us, not 
through any defect in himself, but through the 
effect of our vices ; for we are sinners by nature, 
whilst God can only do good. By virtue of his 
omnipotence, he carries us along with him in his 
course of action, but, although good itself, he can- 
not prevent an evil instrument from producing 

It must have been glorious for Erasmus to behold 
the triumphant enemy of papacy wi'ithing under 
his blows, and clutching to oppose him a weapon 
so dangerous to him who employs it. The more 
Luther struggles, the more he takes advantage; 
the more he pushes his victoi'y, the deeper he sinks 
into immorality and fatalism, even to being con- 
strained to admit that Judas could do no other than 
betray Christ. Deep and lasting, therefore, was 
Luther's recollection of this quarrel. He did not 
deceive himself with regard to his triumph : he had 
not discovered the solution of the terrible problem ; 
he felt this in his De Servo Arbitrio (On the Bon- 
dage of the Will); and, to his latest day, the name 
of him who had beaten him down to the most im- 
moral consequences of the doctrine of grace, is 
mixed up in his writings and sermons, with cui'ses 
upon the blasphemei's of Christ. 

He was, most of all, angered by Erasmus's ap- 
parent moderation ; who, not daring to attack the 
foundations of the edifice of Christianity, seemed 
desirous of destroying it slowly, stone by stone. 
This shifting and equivocation did not suit Luther's 
energy. " Erasmus," he says, " that amphibolous 
king, who sits quietly on the throne of amphibology, 
mocks us with his ambiguous words, and claps his 
hands when he sees us entangled in his insidious 
figures, like a quarry in the nets. Taking it as an 
opportunity for his rhetoric, he falls upon us with 
loud cries, tearing, flogging, crucifying, throwing all 
hell at our head, because, he says, we have imder- 
stood in a slanderous, infamous, and Satanic sense, 
woi'ds which he, nevertheless, wished to be so un- 
derstood. . . . See him advance, creeping like a 
viper, to tempt simple souls, like the serpent that 

A.D. 152G— 1529. 



beguiled Eve into doubt, and infused into her sus- 
picion of God's commands." Wliatever Luther 
may say, this dispute occasioned him so much 
anxiety and trouble, that he at last declined battle, 
and prevented his friends fi'om replying for him: 
" If I fight with dirt, conqueror or conquered, I am 
always defiled." " I would not," he writes to his 
son John, " for a thousand florins find myself in 
God's presence in the danger in which Jerome will 
stand, still less in Erasmus's place. If I recover 
health and strength I will fully and freely bear wit- 
ness to my God against Erasmus. I will not sell 
my dear little Jesus. I daily di-aw nearer to the 
grave; and, before I descend into it, wish to bear 
witness to my God with my lips, and without put- 
ting forth a single leaf as my shield. As yet I have 
hesitated, and have said to myself, ' Shouldst thou 
kill him what would be his fate V I killed Miinzer, 
and his death is a load round my neck. But I 
killed him because he sought to kill my Christ." 
Preaching on Trinity Sunday, doctor Martin Luther 
says : " I pray all of you, who have seriously at 
heart the honour of Christ and of the Gospel, to be 
the enemies of Erasmus. , . ." One day, doctor 
Luther exclaimed to doctoi's Jonas and Pomeranus, 
with energetic earnestness: "My dying prayers 
to you would be, ' Scourge this serpent.' . . . When 
I shall recover, with God's aid, I will write against 
him, and kill him. We have endui'ed his mockery 
of us, and having taken us by the throat; but now, 
that he seeks to do the same by Christ, we will 
array ourselves against him. ... It is true, that 
crushing Erasmus is crushing a bug ; but my Christ, 
whom he mocks, is nearer to me than Erasmus's 
being m dangei'." " If I live, I will, with God's 
aid, purge the Church of his ordure. 'Tis Ei'asmus 
who has given birth to Ci'otus, Egranus, Witzeln, 
OUcolampadius, Campanus, and other visionaries or 
Epicureans. Be it thoroughly understood, I will no 
more recognize him as a member of the Church." 
Looking one day at a portrait of Erasmus, Luther 
said : " Erasmus, as his countenance proves, is a 
crafty, designing man, who has laughed at God and 
reHgion;he uses fine words, as, ' dear Lord Christ, 
the word of salvation, the holy sacraments,' but 
holds the truth to be a matter of indifference. 
When he preaches, it rings false, like a cracked 
pot. He has attacked the papacy, and is now draw- 
ing his head out of the noose." 

A.D. 1526 — 1529. 

Luther's marriage. — his poverty, discouragement, 
despair, sickness. — belief in the approaching 
end op the world. 

The firmest souls would have found it difficult to 
bear up against such a succession of shocks ; and 
Luther's visibly failed after the cri.sis of the year 
1525. His part had been changed, and most dis- 
tressingly. Erasmus's opposition was the signal 
for the estrangement of men of letters, who, at the 
first, had so powerfully aided Luther's cause. He 
had allowed the De Lihero Arbitrio to remain 
without any serious reply. The great innovator, 
the people's champion against Rome, saw himself 
outstripped by the people, and, in the war of the 

peasants, cursed by the people ; so that one cannot 
be surprised at the discouragement which over- 
whelmed him at this period. In this prostration of 
his mind, the flesh i-egained its empire ; he married. 
The two or three succeeding years are a sort of 
eclipse for Luther ; in which we find him for the 
most part preoccupied with worldly cares, that 
cannot, however, fill up the void he experiences. 
At last, he succumbs. A gi-and physical crisis 
marks the end of this period of atony. He is 
aroused from his lethargy by the dangers that 
threaten Germany ; which is invaded by Soliman 
(a.d. 1529), and threatened in its liberty and its 
faith at the diet of Augsburg, by Charles the Fifth 
(a.d. 1530.) 

" Since God has created woman such as to re- 
quire of necessity to be near man, let us ask no 
more, God is on our side. So, let us honour mar- 
riage, as an honourable and divine institution. This 
mode of life is the first which it pleased God to 
ordain, is that which he has constantly maintained, 
is the last which he will glorify over every other. 
Where were kingdoms and empires when Adam 
and the patriarchs lived in marriage ? Out of 
what other kind of life do all states proceed ? 
Albeit, man's wickedness has compelled the ma- 
gistracy to usurp it for the most part, so that mar- 
riage has become an empire of war, whilst, in its 
purity and simplicity it is the empire of peace." 
(Jan. 17th, 1525.) " You tell me, my dear Spala^ 
tin, that you wish to renounce the court, and your 
office. My advice to you is, to remain, except you 
leave to marry. For my part, I am in God's hand, 
a being whose heart he can change and change 
back, whom he can slay, or call to life, at each mo- 
ment, and at every hour. Nevertheless, in the 
state in which my heart has ever been, and still 
is, I shall not take a wife : not that I do not feel 
my flesh and my sex ; I am neither wood nor 
stone, but my mind inclines not to marriage whilst 
I am daily expecting the heretic's death and pu- 
nishnient." (Nov. 30th, 1524.) " You need not be 
surprised that I, qui sic famosus sum amator (who 
am so notorious a lover), do not marry. You 
should rather be surprised that I, who have written 
so much upon marriage, and have constantly had 
so much to do with women, have not long since 
been changed into a woman rather than marrying 
one. Still, if you will regulate yourself by my 
example, it should be all-powerful with you to learn 
that I have had three spouses at the same time, 
and have loved them so much as to lose two, who 
are about to take other husbands. The third, I 
hardly detain by the left-hand, and she is slipping 
from me." (April 16th, 1525.) 

To Amsdorff. " Hoping to have my life spared 
for some time yet, 1 have not liked to refuse 
giving my father the hope of posterity. Besides, 
I have chosen to practise what I have preached, 
since so many others have shown themselves afraid 
to practise what is so clearly announced in the 
Gospel. I follow God's will ; and am not devoured 
with a burning, immoderate love for my wife, but 
simply love her." (June 21st, 1525.) 

His bride, Catherine von Bora, was a young girl 
of noble birth, who had escaped from her convent ; 
was twenty-four years of age, and remarkably beau- 
tiful. It appears that she had been previously 
attached to a young student of Nuremberg, Jerome 



A.D. I52B— 1529. 

Baumgartner; and Luther wrote to him (Oct. 12th, 
1524). — " If you desii'e to obtain your Catherine von 
Bora, make haste before she is given to another, 
whose she almost is. Still, she has not yet over- 
come her love for you. For my part, I should be 
delighted to see you united." He wi'ites to Stiefel, 
a year after his marriage. (Aug. 12th, 1526). 
" Catherine, my dear rib, salutes you. She is, 
thanks to God, in the enjoyment of excellent health. 
She is gentle, obedient, and complying in all things, 
beyond my hopes. I would not exchange my 
poverty for the wealth of Crcesus." Luther, in 
truth, was at this time extremely poor. Pre- 
occupied with household cares, and anxiety about 
his future family, he turned his thoughts to ac- 
quiring a handici'aft. " If the world will no longer 
support us in return for preaching the word, let 
us learn to live by the labour of our own hands." 
Could he have chosen, he would no doubt have 
preferred one of the arts which he loved — the art 
of Albert Durer,andof his friend Lucas Cranach — 
or music, which he called a science inferior to 
theology alone ; but he had no master. So he 
became turner. " Since our barbarians here know 
nothing of art or science, my servant Wolfgang and 
I have taken to turning." Hecon imi s siun edW-en- 
ceslaus Link to buy him tools at Nurembei'g. He 
also took to gardening and building. " I have 
planted a garden," he writes to Spalatin, "and 
liave built a fountain, and have succeeded tolerably 
in both. Come, and be crowned with lilies and 
roses." (Dec. 1525.) In April, 1527, on being 
made a present of a clock by an abbot of Nurem- 
berg, " I must," he says, in acknowledging its re- 
ceipt, " I must become a student of mathematics 
iu order to comprehend all this mechanism, for I 
never saw anything like it." A mouth afterwards 
he writes, " The turning tools ai-e come to hand, 
and the dial with the cylinder and the wooden 
clock. I have tools enough for the present, except 
you meet with some newly-invented ones, which 
can turn of themselves, whilst my servant snores or 
stares at the clouds. I have already taken my 
degree in clockmaking, which is prized by me as 
enabling me to tell the hour to ray drunkards of 
Saxons, who pay more attention to their glasses 
than the hours, and care not whether sun, or clock, 
or whoso regulates the clock, go wrong." (May 
19th, 1527.) " You may absolutely see my melons, 
gourds, and pumpkins grow ; so I have known how 
to ehiploy the seeds you have sent me." (July 5th.) 
Gardening was no gi-eat resource, and Luther 
found himself in a situation equally strange and 
distressing. This man, who governed kings, saw 
himself dependent on the elector for his daily food, 
"lie new church had only compassed her deliver- 
ance from the papacy, by subjecting herself to the 
civil power, which, at the outset, starved and neg- 
lected her. Luther had written to Spalatin in 1523, 
that he desired to resign the income which he 
drew from his convent, into the elector's hands. 
..." Since we read no more, bawl no more, say 
mass no more, and, indeed, do nothing for which 
the house was founded, we can no longer live on 
this money which is no longer oui's." (Nov. 1523.) 
" As yet, Staupitz has paid no fraction of our in- 
come. . . . We are daily plunging deeper into 
debt ; and I know not whether to apply to the 
elector again, or to let things go on, and the worst 
come to the worst, until want drives me forth from 

Wittemberg into the tender hands of pope and 
emperor." (Nov. 1523.) " Are we here to pay 
every one, and yet no one to pay us ? This is 
passing strange." (Feb. 1st. 1524.) "Each day 
burdens me with fresh debts ; I must seek alms by 
some other means." (April 24th, 1524.) "This 
life cannot last. Are not these delays of the prince 
justly calculated to arouse suspicion ? For my 
own part, I would long since have left my convent 
for some other abode, and have lived by my own 
labour (although I cannot now be said to live with- 
out labour), had I not feared to bring scandal on 
the Gospel, and even on the prince." (End of Dec. 

" You ask me for eight floruis; but where shall 
I get them ? You know that I am obliged to use 
the strictest economy; and I have imprudently con- 
tracted debts this year to the amount of above a 
hundred florins. I have been forced to leave three 
goblets in pledge for fifty florins. It is true, that 
my Lord, who has thus punished me for my impro- 
vidence, has at last set me free. . . . Besides, 
Lucas and Christian will no longer take my security, 
finding that they either lose all, or else drain my 
purse to the bottom." (Feb. 2nd, 1527.) "Tell 
Nicolas Endrissus to ask me for some copies of my 
works. Although very poor, I have yet made cer- 
tain stipulations with my printers, asking them 
nothing for all my labour, except the power of taking 
occasionally a copy of my works. This is not ex- 
acting, I think, since other writers, even transla- 
tors, receive a ducat a sheet." (July 5th, 1527.) 
" What has happened, my dear Spalatin, that you 
write to me in so threatening and imperious a tone ? 
Has not Jonas experienced enough of your con- 
tempt and your prince's, that you still rage so 
furiously against that excellent man ? I knov/ the 
prince's character, and how lightly he treats men. 
.... 'Tis thus, then, that the Gospel is honoured, 
by i-efusing a poor stipend to its ministers ! . . . . 
Is it not iniquitous and detestably pei-fidious to 
order him to leave, and yet to manage to make it 
appear that no such order had been given him 1 
And think you that Christ does not note the stra- 
tagem ? . . . I do not conceive, however, that the 
prince has sustained any injury through us. . . A 
tolerable proportion of the good things of this world 
has found its way into his purse, and each day is 
adding to it. God will find the means of feeding 
us, if you withhold your alms and some accursed 
money. . . Dear Spalatin, treat us, I pray you, us, 
Christ's poor and exiles, more gently, or else ex- 
plain yourself frankly, so that we may know what 
we are about, and no longer be foi'ced to ruin our- 
selves by following an equivocal order, which, 
whilst it obliges us to leave, does not allow of our 
naming those who compel us to the step." (Nov. 
27th, 1524.) — " We have been gratified, my dear 
Gerard Lampadarius, by the receipt of the letter 
and the cloth, which you have sent us with such 
candour of soul and benevolence of heart. . . . 
Catherine and myself use your lamps every night, 
and we reprove each other with having made you 
no present, and having nothing to send you to keep 
us in your recollection. I feel much shame at not 
having made you a present of paper even, though 
easy for me so to do. . . . Ere lofig I will send 
you a bundle of books, at the least. I would have 
forwarded to you, by this same conveyance, a Ger- 
man Isaiah, which has just seen the light, but I 

A.D. 1526—1529. 



have been stripped of every copy, so that I have 
not one left." (Oct. 14th, 1528.) 

To Martin Gorl'itz, who had made him a present 
of beer: — " Your Ceres of Torgau has been happily 
and gloriously consumed. It had been reserved for 
myself and for visitors, who were never weary of 
pi'aising it above all they had ever tasted. Like a 
true boor, I have not yet sufficiently thanked your 
Emilia and you for it. I am so cai-eless a house- 
keeper (oiKo5£(T7r6rj;c) that I had utterly forgotten 
it was in my cellar, until reminded by my servant 
of it. Remember me to all our brethren, and, 
above all, to your Emilia and her son, the graceful 
hind and the young fawn. May the Lord bless you, 
and make you multiply by thousands, both accord- 
ing to the spirit and the flesh." (Jan. 15th, 1529.) 
Luther writes to AmsdorfF, that he is about to ex- 
tend his hospitality to a young wife: — " If my 
Catherine should be brought to bed at the same 
time, thou wouldst be the poorer for it. Gird thee, 
then, not with sword and cuirass, but with gold 
and silver and a good purse, for I will not let thee 
off without a present." (March 29th, 1529.)— 2b 
Jonas: — '' I had got to the tenth line of this letter 
when tliey came to tell me that my Kate had given 
me a girl: ' All glory and praise to our Father who 
is in heaven /' My little John is safe. Augustin's 
wife is doing well; and, lastly, Margaret Mochinn 
has escaped death, contrary to all expectation. By 
way of set-off, we have lost five pigs. . . . May 
the plague be satisfied with this contribution ! I am, 
as heretofore, an apostle truly, ' as dying, and beliold, 
we live!'''" Luther's wife was pregnant; his son ill, 
cutting his teeth; his two women-servants (Hannah 
and Mai'garet Mochinn) had been attacked by the 
plague, which was raging at the time at Wittem- 
berg. He writes to Amsdorff: " My house is turned 
into a hospital." (Nov. 1st, 152?.) "The wife of 
Georges, the chaplain, is dead of a miscarriage and 
the plague. . . . Every one is seized with terror. 
I have taken the curate and his family into my 
house." (Nov. 4th, 1527.) " Your little John does 
not salute you, for he is ill, but begs your prayers. 
He has not touched food for these twelve days. It 
is marvellous to see how the child would fain be 
gay and cheerful as usual, but is too weak for the 
effort. The chirurgeon opened Margaret Mochinn's 
abscess yesterday, and she is beginning to recover. 
I have given her our winter apartment; we occupy 
the large front parlour; Hanschen is in my room, 
with the stove ; and Augustin's wife in hers. We 
are beginning to hope that the plague has run its 
course. Adieu. Embrace your daughter and her 
mother for us, and remember us in your prayers." 
(Nov. 10th, 1527.) 

" My poor son was dead, but has been resuscita- 
ted. He had not eaten for twelve days. The 
Lord has increased my family by a little girl. We 
are all well, save Luther himself, who, sound in 
body and utterly isolated from the world, suffers 
inwardly from the attacks of the devil and his 
angels. I am wi-iting for the second and last 
time against the Sacramentarians and their vain 
words, &c." (December 31st, 1527.) " My little 
daughter Elizabeth is dead. I am surprised how 
sick she has left me at heart; a woman's heart, so 
shaken I am. I could not have believed that a 
father's soul would have been so tender towards 
his child." (August 6th, 1528.) " I can teach you 
what it is to be a father, especially of one of that 

sex which has the power of awakening your softest 
emotions beyond the reach of sons {prcesertim sexus 
qui ultra filiorum castim etiam habet misericordiam 
valde moventem)." (June 5th, 1530.) 

Towards the close of the year 1527, Luther 
himself was frequently seriously indisposed both 
in body and mind. Writing to Melanchthon, 
October 27th, he concludes his letter as follows: — 
" I have not yet read Erasmus's new work, and 
what should I read, I, a sick servant of Jesus 
Christ's, I, who am scarcely alive ? What can I 
do ? What write ? Is it God's will thus to over- 
whelm me with all ocean's waves at once ? And 
it is they who ought to have compassion on me 
who come to give me the final blow after so many 
sufferings! May God enlighten them and their 
hearts! Amen." Two of Luther's intimate friends, 
doctors John Bugenhagen and Jonas, have left us 
the following account of a fainting fit with which 
Luther was seized about the end of 1527: — "On 
the Saturday of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary 
(a.d. 1527), in the afternoon, doctor Luther com- 
plained of pains in the head and such inexpressibly 
violent humming in his ears, that he thought he 
must sink under it. In the course of the morning, 
he sent for doctor Bugenhagen to confess him; 
when he spoke to him with affright of the tempta- 
tions he had been going through, begged him to 
strengthen him, and to pray to God for him, and 
concluded by saying, ' Because I sometimes wear a 
gay and jovial air, many conclude that my path is 
on roses; and God knows how far my heai't is from 
any such feeling. Often have I resolved, for the 
world's sake, to assume a moi'e austere and holier 
demeanour (I do not explain myself well), but God 
has not favoured my resolve.' In the afternoon of 
the same day he fell down senseless, turned quite 
cold, and gave no sign of life. When recalled to 
himself by unceasing cai'e, he began to pray with 
great fervour: — ' Thou knowest, my God!' he said, 
' how cheerfully I would have poured out my blood 
for thy word, but thou hast willed it otherwise. 
Thy will be done! No doubt, I was unworthy of it. 
Death would be my happiness; yet, my God! if 
it be thy will, gladly would I still live to spread 
thy holy word, and comfort such of thy people as 
wax faint. Nevertheless, if my hour be come, thy 
will be done ! In thy hands ai'e life and death. 
my Lord Jesus Christ, I thank thee for thy grace 
in suffering me to know thy holy name. Thou 
knowest that I believe in thee, in the Father, and 
in the Holy Ghost; thou art my divine Mediator 
and Saviour. . . . Thou knowest, my Lord, that 
Satan has laid numerous snares for me, to slay my 
body by tyrants and my soul by his fery arrows, 
his infernal temptations. Up to this time, thou 
hast marvellously protected me against all his 
fury. Protect me still, my steadfast Lord, if it 
be thy will!' 

" Then he turned to us both (Bugenhagen and 
Jonas), and said, ' The world is prone to lying, and 
there will be many who will say that I retracted 
before I died. I call on you, therefore, at once to 
receive my profession of faith. I conscientiously 
declare that I have taught the true word of God, 
even as the Lord laid upon me and impelled me 
to do. Yea ; I declare that what I have preached 
upon faith, charity, the cross, the holy sacrament, 
and other articles of the Christian doctrine, is 
just, good, and conducive to salvation. I have 



A.D. 1526—1529. 

been often accused of violence and harshness ; I 
acknowledge that I have sometimes been violent 
and harsh towards my enemies. Yet have I never 
sought to injure any one, still less the perdition of 
any soul. I had intended to write upon baptism, 
and against Zwingle ; but God, apparently, has 
willed the contrary.' He next spoke of the sects 
that will ai-ise to pervert God's word, and will not 
spare, he said, the flock which the Lord has re- 
deemed with his blood. He wept as he spoke of 
these things. 'As yet;' he said, ' God has suf- 
fered me to join you in the struggle against these 
spirits of disorder, and I would gladly continue so 
to do ; alone, you will be too weak against them 
all. However, the thought of Jesus Christ re-as- 
sures me ; for he is stronger than Satan and all 
his arms ; he is the Lord of Satan.' Some short 
time after, when the vital heat had been a little 
revived by frictions, and the application of hot 
pillows, he asked his wife, 'Where is my little 
heart, my well-beloved little John?' When the 
child was brought, he smiled at his father, %vho 
began saying, with tears in his eyes, ' Poor dear 
little one, I commend you to God, you and your 
good mother, my dear Catherine. You are penni- 
less, but God will take care of you. He is the 
father of orphans and widows. Preserve them, O 
my God; inform them, even as thou hast preserved 
and informed me up to this day.' He then spoke 
to his wife about some silver goblets. 'Thou 
knowest,' he added, ' they are all we have left.' 
He fell into a deep sleep, which recruited his 
strength ; and on the next day, he was consider- 
ably better. He then said to doctor Jonas, ' Never 
shall I forget yesterday. The Lord takes man into 
hell, and draws him out of it. The tempest which 
beat yesterday morning on my soul, was much 
more terrible than that which ray body underwent 
towards evening. God kills, and brings to life. 
He is the master of life and death.' " 

" For nearly three months, I have been growuig 
weaker, not in body, but in mind ; to such a de- 

free, that I can scarcely write these few lines, 
'his is Satan's doing." (Oct. 8th, 1527.) " I want 
to reply to the Sacramentarians, but shall be able 
to do nothing except my soul be fortified." (Nov. 
1st, 1527.) " I have not yet read Erasmus, or the 
Sacramentarians, with the exception of some three 
sheets of Zwingle. It is well done of them to 
trample me so mercilessly under foot, so that I 
may say with Jesus Christ, ' He persecuted the poor 
and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in 
heart.'' I alone bear the weight of God's wrath, 
because I have sinned towards him. The pope 
and Caesar, the princes, the bishops, the whole 
world, hates and assails, but yet 'tis not enough 
without my very brother come to torment me. 
My sins, death, Satan and his angels, rage inces- 
santly against me. And who would keep or com- 
fort me if Christ were to desert me ; for whose 
sake I have incurred their hate ? But he will not 
desert the wretched sinner when the end cometh ; 
for I think I shall be the last of all men. Oh ! 
would to God that Erasmus and the Sacramenta- 
rians were to undergo for a quarter of an hour 
only the misery of my heart 1" (Nov. 10th, 1527.) 
" Satan tries me with marvellous temptations, but 
I am not left without the prayers of the saints, 
albeit the wounds of my heart are not easy to cure. 
My comfort is, that there are many others who 

have to sustain the same struggles. No doubt, 
there is no suffering so great that my sins do not 
deserve it. But what gives me life and strength is, 
the consciousness that I have taught, to the salva- 
tion of many, the true and pure word of Christ. 
This it is which burns up Satan, who would wish to 
see me and the word drowned and lost. And so I 
suffer nothing at the hands of the tyrants of this 
world, while others are killed, burnt, and die for 
Christ ; but I have so much the more to suffer 
spirituallj' from the prince of this world." (August 
2lst, 1527.) " When I wish to write, my head is 
filled as it were with tinklings, thunders, and if I 
did not stop at once, I should faint outright. I 
have now been three days, unable even to look 
at a letter. My head is wearing into a small 
chapter ; and if this goes on, it will soon be no 
more than a paragraph, a period {caput meum fac- 
tum est capltidum, perget i^erb fietque paragraphus, 
tandem periodus). The day I received your letter 
from Nurembei'g, Satan visited me. 1 was alone. 
Vitus and Cyriacus had left me. This time he 
was the stronger. He drove me out of my bed, 
and forced me to go and seek the face of men." 
(May 12, 1530). " Although well in bodily health, 
I am ever ill with Satan's persecutions ; which 
hinder me from writing or doing anything. The 
last day, I fully believe, is not far from us. Fare- 
well, cease not to pray for poor Luther." (Feb. 28th, 
1529). " One may overcome the temptations 
of the flesh, but how hard it is to struggle against 
the temptation of blasphemy and despair. We 
neither comprehend the sin, nor know the re- 
medy." After a week of constant suffering, he 
wrote : " Having all but lost my Christ, I was 
beaten by the waves and tempests of despair and 
blasphemy." (Aug. 2nd, 1527.) 

Luther, far from receiving support and comfort 
from his friends, whilst undergoing these internal 
troubles, saw some lukewarm and timidly sceptical, 
others fairly embarked in the path of mysticism 
which he had himself opened up for them, and wan- 
dering further from him daily. The first to declare 
himself was Agricola, the leader of the Antinomians. 
We shall hereafter see how Luther's last days were 
embittered by his controversy with so dear a 
friend. " Some one has been telling me a tale of 
you, my dear Agricola, and with such urgency 
that I promised him to write and make inquii-y of 
you. The tale is, that you are beginning to ad- 
vance the doctrine of faith without works, and 
that you profess yourself ready to maintain this 
novelty against all and smidry, with a gi-and 
magazine of Greek words and rhetorical artifices. 
"". . . I warn you to be on your guard against the 
snares of Satan. . . . Never did event come more 
unexpectedly upon me than the fall of (Ecolam- 
padius and of Regius. And what have I not now 
to fear for those who have been my intimate 
friends ! It is not sui'prising that I should trem- 
ble for you also, whom I would not see separated 
in opinion from me for aught that the world can 
bestow." (Sept. 11th, 1528.) " Wherefore should I 
be provoked with the papists ? They make open 
war upon me. We are declared enemies. But 
they who do me most evil are my dearest children, 
fraterculi met, aurei amiculi met ; they who, if Luther 
had not written, would know nothing of Christ and 
the Gospel, and would never have thrown off the 
papal yoke ; at least, who, if they had had the 

A.D. 1529—1532. 



power, would have lacked the courage. I thought 
that I had by this time suffered and exhausted 
every calamity ; but my Absalom, the child of my 
lieai't, had not yet deserted his father, had not yet 
covered David with shame. My Judas, the terror 
of the disciples of Christ, the traitor who delivered 
up his master, had not yet sold nie : and now all 
this has befallen me. 

" A clandestine, but most dangerous pei'secution 
is now going on against us. Our ministry is 
despised. We ourselves are hated, persecuted, 
and suffered to die of hunger. See what is now 
the fate of God's word. When offered to those 
who stand in need of it, they will not receive it. . . 
Christ would not have been crucified, had he left 
Jerusalem. But the prophet will not die out of 
Jerusalem, and yet it is only in his own country 
that the prophet is without honour. It is the 
same with us. . . . It will soon come to pass that 
the great of this duchy will have emptied it of minis- 
ters of the word ; who will be driven from it by 
hunger, not to mention other wi-ongs." (Oct. 18th, 

" There is nothing certain with regard to the 
apparitions about which so much noise has been 
made in Bohemia : many deny the fact. But 
as to the gulfs which opened here, before my own 
eyes, the Sunday after Epiphany, at eight o'clock 
in the evening, it is a certainty, and has been 
noticed in many places as far as the sea-coast. 
Moreover, in December, doctor Hess writes me 
word, the heavens were seen in flames above the 
church of Breslaw ; and another day, he adds, 
two beams were in flames, and a tower of fire 
between. These signs, if I mistake not, announce 
the last day. The empire is falling, kings are 
falling, priests are falling, and the whole world 
totters ; just as small fissures announce the ap- 

proaching fall of a large house. Nor will it be 
long before this happen, unless the Turk, as 
Ezekiel prophesies of Gog and Magog, lose himself 
in his victory and his pride, with the pope, his 
ally." (March 7, 1529.) " Grace and peace iu our 
Lord Jesus Christ. The world liastens to its end, 
and I often think that the day of judgment may 
well overtake me before I have finished my trans- 
lation of the Holy Scriptures. All temporal things 
predicted there are being fulfilled. The Roman 
empire inclines to its ruin, the Turk has reached 
the height of his power, the splendour of the 
papacy suffers eclipse, the world is cracking in 
every corner, as if about to crumble to pieces. 
The empire, I grant, lias recovered a little under 
our emperor Charles, but -'tis, perhaps, for the 
last time ; may it not be like the light which, the 
moment before it goes out for ever, emits a livelier 
flash. . . . The Turk is about to fall upon us. 
IMark me ; he is a reformer sent in God's wrath." 
(March 15th.) 

" There is a man with me, just come from 
Venice, who asserts that the doge's son is at the 
court of the Turk : so that we have been only 
fighting against the latter until i>ope, Venetians, 
and French openly and impudently turn Turks. 
The same man states that there were eight hun- 
dred Turlvs in the army of the Frenchmen at 
Pavia ; three hundred of whom, sick of the war, 
have returned safe and sound to their own country. 
As you have not mentioned these montrosities to 
me, I conclude you to be ignorant of them ; but 
they have been told me both by letters and personal 
informants, with details which do not allow me to 
doubt of their truth. The hour of midnight ap- 
proaches, when we shall hear the cry, ' The bride- 
p'oom Cometh, <jo ye out to met-t him.' " (May 6th, 


A.D. 1529—1546. 

A.D. 1529— 1532. 


Luther was roused from his dejection, and restored 
to active life, by the dangers which threatened the 
Reformation and Germany. When that scoxirge of 
God, whose coming he awaited with resignation, 
as the sign of the judgment, burst in reality on 
Germany, when the Turks encamped before Vi- 
enna, Luther changed his mind, called on the 
people to take up arms, and published a book 
against the Turks, which he dedicated to the land- 
grave of Hesse, On the 9th of October, 1528, he 
wrote to this prince, explaining to him the motives 
which had induced him to compose it : — " I can- 
not," he says, " keep my peace. There are, un- 
fortunately, preachers among us who exhort the 

people to pay no attention to the invasion of the 
Turks ; aud there are some extravagant 'enough to 
assert that Christians ar6 forbidden to liave re- 
course to temporal arms under any circumstances. 
Others, again, who regard the Germans as a nation 
of incorrigible brutes, go so far as to hope they may 
fall under the power of the Turks. These mad and 
criminal notions are imputed to Luther and the 
Gospel, just as, three years since, the revolt of the 
peasants was, and as, in fact, every ill which befalls 
the world invariably is; so that I feel it incumbent 
on me to write upon the subject, as well to confound 
calumniators, as to enlighten innocent consciences 
on the course to be pursued against the Turks. 
. . ." " We heard yesterday tliat, by God's mu-a- 
culous grace, the Turk has left Vienna for Hungary. 
For, after having been repulsed in his twentieth 
assault, he sprang a mine, wliicli opened a breach 
in three places, but nothing could induce his army 
to renew the attack. God had struck a panic into 



A.D. 1529—1532. 

it, and his soldiers preferred falling by the hands 
of their chiefs to advancing to another assault. 
Some believe that he has drawn off his forces 
through fear of bombards and our future army ; 
others think otherwise. God manifestly has fought 
for us this year. The Turk has lost twenty-six 
thousand men ; three thousand of ours have fallen 
in sorties. I have written this news to you, in order 
that we may offer up thanks and pi-ayer together; 
for the Turk, now that he is our neighbour, will 
not leave us for ever in peace." (Oct. 27th, 1529.) 

Germany was saved, but German Protestantism 
was only the more endangered. Tlie exasperation 
of the two parties had been brought to a climax, by 
a circumstance which occurred prior to Solyman's 
invasion. To believe Luther's Roman Catholic bio- 
grapher, Cochlreus, whom we have before quoted, 
duke George's chancellor. Otto Pack, feigned that 
the Roman Catholic prhices had formed a league 
against the elector of Saxony and the landgrave of 
Hesse, and showed forged documents with the 
duke's seal to them, to the landgrave, who, be- 
lieving himself to be menaced, levied an army, and 
entered into close alliance with the elector. The 
Catholics, and, above all, duke George, vehemently 
repelled the charge of having ever thought of 
menacing the religious independence of the Luthe- 
ran princes, and disavowed the chancellor, wlio, 
perhaps, had only been guilty of divulging the 
secret designs of his master. "Doctor Pack, in 
my opinion a voluntary prisoner of the landgi'ave's, 
has hitherto boi'ne the blame of having got up this 
alliance of the princes. He asserts that he can 
rebut the charge, and clear himself with honour ; 
and may God gi'ant this plot to rebound on the 
head of the clown whom I believe to be its author, 
on that of our grand adversary ; you know whom 
I mean, duke George of Saxony." (July 14th, 
1528.) " You see the troubles this league of wicked 
princes, which they deny however, has stirred up. 
For my part, I look upon duke George's cold ex- 
cuse as a confession. God will confound this mad- 
headed fool ; this Moab, who exalts his pride above 
his strength. We will lift up our voice in prayer 
against these homicides ; enough indulgence has 
been shown. And, if they are still plotting, we 
will first invoke God, then summon the princes to 
destroy them without pity." 

Although all the princes had declared the docu- 
ments to be forgeries, the bishops of Mentz, Bam- 
berg, &c., were called upon to pay a hundred 
thousand crowns of gold, by way of indemnity for 
the armaments which the Lutheran princes had 
prepared ; and who, indeed, asked no better than 
to begin war. They had computed, and they felt 
their strength. The grand-master of the Teutonic 
order had secularised Prussia ; and the dukes of 
Mecklenburg and of Brunswick, encouraged by 
this great event, had invited Lutheran preachers. 
(a.d. 1525.) The Reformation prevailed over the 
north of Germany. In Switzerland, and on the 
Rhine, the Zwinglians, who increased daily in num- 
bers, were seeking to identify themselves with 
Luther. Finally, on the south and the east, the 
Turks, masters of Buda and of Hungary, constantly 
menaced Austria, and held the emperor in check. 
In default of the latter, duke George of Saxony, 
and the powerful bishops of the north, had con.sti- 
tuted themselves the opponents of the Reformation. 
A violent controversial war had long been going 

on between this prince and Luther. The duke 

wrote to the latter: — " Thou fearest our having to 
do with hypocrites; the present letter will show thee 
how far this is the case, in which, if thou findest us 
dissemble, thou mayest speak as ill of us as thou 
likest; if not, thou must look for hypocrites there, 
where thou art called a proidiet, a Daniel, the apostle 
of Germany, the evangelist. . . . Thou imaginest, 
perchance, that thou art sent of God to us, like 
those prophets whom God commissioned to convert 
princes and the powerful. Moses was sent to 
Pharaoh ; Samuel to Saul ; Nathan to David ; 
Isaiah to Hezekiah ; St. John the Baptist to Herod, 
as we well know. But, amongst all these prophets, 
we do not find a single apostate. They were consis- 
tent in doctrine, sincere and pious men, free from 
pride and avarice, and friends of chastity. . . . We 
reck little of thy prayers, or of those of thy asso- 
ciates. We know that God hates the assembly of 
thy apostates. . . . God punished Miinzer for his 
perversity, through us. He may well visit Luther 
likewise ; nor shall we refuse to be in this, too, his 
unworthy instrument. . . . No, Luther, rather re- 
turn thyself, and be no longer led astray by the 
spirit which seduced the apostate Sergius. The 
Christian church closes not her bosom against the 
repentant sinner. ... If it be pride which has 
lost thee, consider that haughty Manichean, St. 
Augustin, thy master, whose rule thou hast sworn 
to observe : return, like him ; return to thy fidelity 
and thy oaths ; be, like him, a light to Christen- 
dom. . . . Such are our counsels to thee for the 
new year. Conform to them, thou wilt be eternally 
rewarded by God, and we will do our utmost to 
obtain thy pardon from the emperor." (Dec. 28th, 

Luther's Protest against duke George, who had 
intercepted one of his letters, 1529: — "As to the 
fine names duke George showers on me — wretch, 
criminal, perjurer, I cannot but thank him. They 
are the emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, with which 
I ought to be adorned by princes in return for 
the honour and power which temporal authority 

receives from the restoriition of the Gospel 

Would not one say that duke George knows no 
superior ? ' I, squire of squires,' he says, ' am 
alone master and prince, am above all the princes 
in Germany, am above the empire, its laws and 
customs. I am the one to be feared, the one to 
be obeyed; my will is law, despite what all others 
may think or say.' Where, friends, will the pride 
of this Moab stop ? There is only now left for 
him to scale heaven, to spy and punish letters and 
thoughts even in the sanctuary of God himself. 
See our little prince; and withal, he will be glori- 
fied, respected, adored ! Mighty well, gramercy." 
In 1529, the year of the treaty of Cambrai and 
of the siege of Vienna by Solyman, the empei-or 
convened a diet at Spire (March 15th), where it 
was settled that the states of the empire were to 
continue to obey the decree launched against 
Luther in 1524, and that every innovation was to 
remain interdicted until the convocation of a 
general council. It was on this that the party of 
the Reformation broke out. The elector of 
Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, the land- 
grave of Hesse, the dukes of Luneburg, the prince 
of Anhalt, and, in conjunction with them, the depu- 
ties of fourteen imperial cities, published a solemn 
protest against the decree of the diet, declaring it 

A.D. 1529—1532. 



to be impious and unjust; and from this they kept 
the name of Protestants. 

The landgrave of Hesse, feeling the necessity of 
combining all the dissident sects so as to form a 
party which might be formidable to the Catholics 
of Germany, endeavoured to bring about a recon- 
ciliation between Luther and theSacramentarians; 
but Luther foresaw the inutility of the attempt: — 
" The landgrave of Hesse has summoned us to 
attend at Marburg on St. Michael's day, in the 
view of reconciling us and the Sacrameutarians. . . 
I augur no good from it; it is all a snare; and the 
victory, I fear, will be theirs, as in the age of 
Arius. Meetings of the kind are ever more injurious 
than useful. . .This young man of Hesse is restless 
and full of ebullient ideas. The Lord has saved 
us these two last years from two great conflagra- 
tions which would have set all Germany on fire." 
(August 2nd, 1529.) " We have been most sump- 
tuously entertained by the landgrave. CEcolampa- 
dius, Zwingle, Bucer, &c., were there; and all 
entreated for peace with extraordinary humility. 
The conference lasted two days. I opposed CEco- 
lampadius and Zwingle with the text, ' This is my 
body,' and refuted their objections. In short, 
they are ignorant persons, incapable of sustaining 
a discussion." (October 12th.) " I am delighted, 
my dear Amsdorff, that you are delighted with our 
synod of Marburg. The thing is apparently 
trifling; but, in reality, of great importance. The 
prayers of the pious have confounded, paralyzed, 
humiliated them. The whole of Zwingle's argu- 
ment is reducible to this, that there can be no 
body without place or dimension. CEcolampadius 
maintained that the Fathers called the bread a 
sign, and that therefore it was not very body. . . . 
They besought us to give them the name of 
brothers. Zwingle asked it of the landgrave with 
tears. ' There is no spot on earth,' he said, ' where 
I would sooner pass my life than Wittemberg.'. . . 
We only allowed them the name save as charity com- 
pels us to give it to our enemies. . . They conducted 
themselves in every way with incredible humility 
and candour; in order, as is now clear to be seen, 
to beguile us into a fictitious agreement, so as to 
make us the partisans and patrons of their errors. 
... crafty Satan; but Christ, who has saved us, 
is abler than thou. I am now no longer astonished 
at their impudent lies. I see that they cannot act 
otherwise, and glorify myself for their fall." (June 
1st, 1530.) 

This theological war of Germany filled up the 
intervals of truce in the grand European war 
carried on by Charles the Fifth against Francis I. 
and against the Turks; indeed, seldom slackened 
even in the most violent crises of the latter. Ger- 
many, so absorbed at this moment in the considera- 
tion of religion as to be on the point of forgetting 
the impending ruin with which she was threatened 
by the most formidable enemies, presents an im- 
posing spectacle. Whilst the Turks were over- 
leaping all the ancient barriers, and Solyman 
pushing on his Tartars beyond Vienna, Germany 
was disputing on ti*ansubstantiation and free-will, 
and her most illustrious warriors sat in diets and 
interrogated doctors. Such was the phlegmatic 
intrepidity of the great nation; such its confidence 
in its massive strength. Charles the Fifth and 
Ferdinand were so taken up with the Turkish and 
the French war, with the taking of Rome and 

defence of Vienna, that the Protestants were 
granted toleration until the next council. But in 
1530, Charles, seeing France humbled, Italy sub- 
jected, and Solyman repulsed, undertook the grand 
trial of the Reformation. Both parties appeared 
at Augsburg. Luther's followers, designated by 
the general name of Pi-otestants, were anxious to 
distinguish themselves from the other enemies of 
Rome whose excesses might injure their cause, 
from the repubhcan Zwinglians of Switzerland, 
who wei-e odious to the princes and nobles, and 
especially from the Anabaptists, proscribed as 
enemies of order and society. Luther, still ob- 
noxious to the sentence pronounced against him at 
Worms, by which he was declared a heretic, could 
not be present. His place was filled by the mild 
and peaceful Melanchthon, a gentle and timid 
being like Erasmus, whose friend he remained in 
despite of Luther. However, the elector brought 
him as near as possible to Augsburg, lodging him 
in the fortress of Cobourg, where Luther could be 
in constant correspondence with the Protestant 
ministers, and whence he wrote to Melanchthon 
on the 22nd of April: — "I have arrived at my 
Sinai, dear Philip, but will make it a Zion, and 
erect thereon three tabernacles, one to the Psalm- 
ist, one to the prophets, one to ^sop (whose fables 
he was then translating). There is nothing want- 
ing to render my solitude complete. I have a vast 
house which commands the castle and the keys of 
all the rooms. There are barely thirty persons in 
the fortress; and twelve of these are watchers by 
night, and two others sentinels, always posted on 
the towers." (April 22nd.) 

To Spalatin, (May 9th): — "You are going to 
Augsburg without having taken the auspices, and 
not knowing when they will allow you to begin. I, 
indeed, am already in the midst of the comitia, in 
the presence of magnanimous sovereigns, kings, 
dukes, prmces, nobles, who confer gravely on affah's 
of state, and with indefatigable voice fill the air 
with their decrees and preachings. They do not 
sit confined in the royal caves you call palaces, but 
have the heavens for their tent, the verdure of the 
trees for their rich and variegated carpet, and the 
earth, to its remotest bounds, for their domain. 
They have a hoiTor of the stupid luxury of gold 
and silk, and all wear the same colours and coimte- 
nances; they are all equally black; all uidulge in 
the same music ; and this song of theirs, on a single 
note, is varied only by the agreeable dissonance of 
the younger voices blending with the older. I have 
never heard a word about their emperor; and they 
have a sovereign contempt for that quadruped in 
which our knights delight, possessing something 
better with which they can laugh at the rage of 
cannons. As far as 1 can understand their decrees, 
they have unanimously determined upon making 
war the whole of this year on barley, wheat, and 
grain, and, in fact, on the choicest fruits and seeds. 
It is to be feared, too, that they will triumph in 
all directions, being a race of skilful and crafty 
warriors, equally skilled to seize their prey by force 
or by surprise. I, an idle spectator, have assisted 
with great satisfaction at their comitia. The hope 
I have conceived of the victories theu- corn-age will 
ensure them over the wheat and barley, or any 
other enemy, has made me the sincere friend of 
these patres patrke, these saviours of the republic. 
And if I can aid them by vows, I ask of Heaven, that 



A.D. 1529—1532. 

delivered from the odious name of crows, &c. All 
this is trifling; but serious trifling, and necessary to 
chase the thoughts which oppress me, if chase them 
it can." (May 9th.) "The noble lords who form 
our comitia run, or rather sail, through the air. 
They sally forth early in the morning to war, 
armed with their invincible beaks, and while they 
pillage, ravage, and devour, I am freed for a time 
from their eternal songs of victory. In the even- 
ing, they return in triumph; fatigue closes their 
eyes; but their sleep is sweet and light, like a con- 
queror's. Some days since I made my way into 
their palace to view the pomp of their empire. The 
unfortunates were seized with terroi*, imagining 
that I came to destroy the results of their industry. 
When I saw that I alone made so many Achilleses 
and Hectors tremble, I clapped my hands, threw 
my hat into the air, and thought myself sufficiently 
avenged to be able to laugh at them. All this is 
not mere trifling; 'tis an allegory, a presage of what 
will come to pass. And, even thus, we shall see ail 
these harpies, who are now at Augsburg screeching 
and Romanising, trembling before God's word." 
(June 19th.) 

Melanchthon, ti'ansformed at Augsburg into a 
partisan leader, and forced to do battle daily with 
legates, princes, and empei'or, was exceedingly dis- 
composed with the active life with which he had 
been saddled, and often unbosomed his troubles to 
Luther, when all the comfort he got was rough re- 
buke: "You tell me of your labours, dangers, tears; 
am I on roses ? Do not I share your burden ? Ah ! 
would to heaven my cause were such as to allow me 
to shed tears !" (June 29th.) "May God reward 
the tyrant of Saltzburg, who works thee so much 
ill, according to his works ! He deserves another 
sort of answer from thee; such as I would have 
made him, perchance; such as has never struck his 
ear. They must, I fear, hear the saying of Julius 
Ccesar: ' They icoiild have it.'' "... "I write in 
vain, because, with thy philosophy, thou wishest to 
set all these things right with thy reason, that is, 
to be unreasoning with reason. Go on; continue to 
kill thyself so, without seeing that neither thy hand 
nor thy mind can grasp this thing." (30th June, 
1530.) "God has placed this cause in a certain 
spot, unknown to thy rhetoric and thy philosophy — 
that spot is faith; there all things are inaccessible 
to the sight ; and whoever would render them 
visible, apparent, and comprehensible, gets pains 
and tears as the price of his labour, as thou hast. 
God has said that his dwelling is in the clouds and 
thick darkness. Had Moses sought a means of 
avoiding Pharaoh's army, Israel would, perhaps, 
still be in Egypt. ... If we have not faith, why 
not seek consolation in the faith of others, for some 
must necessarily have it, though we have not ? Or 
else, must we say that Christ has abandoned us be- 
fore the fulfilment of time ? If he be not with us, 
where is he in this world ? If we be not the church, 
or part of the church, where is the church ? Is 
Ferdinand the church, or the duke of Bavaria, or 
the pope, or the Turk, or their fellows ? If we have 
not God's word, who has ? These things are beyond 
thee, for Satan torments and weakens thee. That 
Chi'ist may heal thee is my sincere and constant 
prayer !" (.June 29th.) " I am in poor health. . . 
But I despise the angel of Satan, that is buffeting 
my flesh. If I cannot read or write, I can at least 
think and pray, and even wrestle with the devil; 

and then sleep, idle, play, sing. Fret not thyself 
away, dear Philip, about a matter which is not in 
thy hand, but in that of One mightier than thou, 
and from whom no one can snatch it." (July 31st.) 

Melanchthon believes it possible to reconcile 
the two parties ; but Luther had early seen its 
impi'acticability. At the commencement of the 
Reformation, he had often demanded public dis- 
putatious, feeling bound to try every means before 
giving up the hope of preserving Christian unity ; 
but, towards the close of his life, in fact, from the 
holding of the diet of Augsburg, he declared 
against aU such word-combats, in which the con- 
quered party will never own its defeat. " I am 
opposed to all attempts to bring the two doctrines 
into harmony ; for the thing is impossible, except 
the pope consent to abolish the papacy. It is 
enough for us to have rendered an account of our 
belief, and asked for peace. Why hope to convert 
them to the truth ?" (August 2(Jth.) To Spalatin. 
(August 26th.) " I hear you have undertaken a 
marvellous task, to reconcile Luther and the pope. 
... If you accomplish it, I promise you to recon- 
cile Christ and Belial." In a letter of the 21st of 
July, to Melanchthon, he writes : " You will see 
how ti'ue a prophet I am in reiterating the impos- 
sibility of reconciling the two doctrines, and that it 
is enough for us to obtain the preservation of the 
public peace." His prophecies were unheeded ; 
conferences were held ; and the Protestants were 
asked for a confession of faith. Melanchthon drew 
it up, taking Luther's opinion on the most im- 
portant points. To Melanchthon. " I have re- 
ceived your apology, and am astonished at your 
asking what we are to cede to the papists. If the 
prince, indeed, be in any danger, that is another 
question. But, as far as I am concerned, more 
concessions are made in this apology than are 
becoming. If they reject them, I do not see how 
I can go further, except their arguments strike 
me with much more force on reflection than now. 
1 pass my days and nights pondering, interpreting, 
analysing, searching the Scriptures, and am only 
daily more confirmed in my doctrine. Our adver- 
saries do not yield us a hair, and yet require us to 
yield them the canon, masses, communion in one 
kind, their customary jurisdiction, and, still more, 
to acknowledge that they are justified in the 
whole of their conduct to us, and that we have 
accused them wrongfully ; in other words, they 
require us to justify them, and condemn ourselves 
out of our own lips, which would be not simply to 
retract, but to be trebly accursed by our own 
selves. ... I do not like your supporting your- 
selves in such a cause by my opinions. I will 
neither be nor seem your chief. . . If it be not 
your own cause, I will not have it called mine, and 
of my imposing. If I be its sole supporter, I will 
be its sole defender." (September 20th.) Two days 
previously he had written to him, " If I hear you 
are getting on badly, I shall hardly be able to 
refrain from facing this formidable row of Satan's 
teeth." And shortly after, " I would fain be the 
victim to be sacrificed by this last council, as John 
Huss was at Constance that of the last day of the 
papal fortunes." (July 21st.) 

The Protestant profession of faith was presented 
to the diet, " and read by order of Csesar before all 
the princes and states of the empire. 'Tis exceed- 
ing happiness for me to have lived to see Christ 

A.D. 1529—1532. 



preached by his confessors before such an assembly, 
and in so fine a confession." (July 6th.) This con- 
fession was signed by five electors, thirty ecclesias- 
tical princes, twenty-three secular princes, twenty- 
two abbots, thirty-two counts and barons, and thirty- 
nine free and imperial cities. " The prince elector 
of Saxony, the margrave George of Brandenburg, 
John Frederick the younger, landgrave of Hesse, 
Ernest and Francis, dukes of Luneburg, prince 
Wolfgang of Anhalt, the cities of Nuremberg and of 
Reutlingen have signed the confession. . . . Many 
bishops incline to peace, without caring about the 
sophisms of Eck and Faber. The archbishop of 
Mentz wishes for peace, as does duke Henry of 
Brunswick, who invited Melanchthon familiarly to 
dinner, and assured him that he could not deny the 
reasonableness of the articles touching communion 
in both lands, the marriage of priests, and the 
inutility of making distinctions as to matters of 
food. All our people confess that no one has 
shown himself more conciliatory in all the con- 
ferences than the emperor, who received our prince 
not only with kindness, but with respect." (July 6th.) 
The bishop of Augsburg, and even Charles V.'s 
confessor were favourably disposed to the Lu- 
therans ; and the Spaniard told Melanchthon that 
he was surprised at Luther's view of faith being 
disputed in Germany, and that he had always 
entertained the same opinion. But whatever Lu- 
ther may say of Charles V.'s graciousness, he 
closed the discussions by calling on the reformers 
to renounce their errors under pain of being put 
under the ban of the empire, seemed even inclined 
to use violence, and at one time closed the gates of 
Augsburg for a moment. " If the emperor chooses 
to publish an edict, let him ; he published one 
after Worms. Let us listen to the emperor m- 
asmuch as he is emperor, nothing more. What is 
that clown (he alludes to duke George) to us, who 
wishes to be thought emperor ?" (.July 15th.) "Our 
cause can defend itself better from violence and 
threats than from the Satanic wiles which I dread, 
especially at the present moment. . . . Let them 
restore us Leonard Keiser, and the many whom 
they have unjustly put to death ; let them restore 
us the innumerable souls lost by their impious 
doctrine ; let them restore all the wealth which 
they have accumulated with their deceitful indul- 
gences and frauds of every kind ; let them restore 
to God his glory violated by such innumerable 
blasphemies ; let them restore, in person and in 
manners, that ecclesiastical pm-ity which they have 
so shamefully sullied. What then ? Then we, 
too, shall be able to speak de Possessorlo." (July 

" The emperor intends simply to order all 
things to be restored to their pristine state, and 
the reign of the pope to recommence ; which, I 
much fear, will excite great troubles, to the ruin of 
priests and clerks. The most powerful cities, as 
Nuremberg, Ulm, Augsburg, Frankfort, Strasburg, 
and twelve others, openly reject the imperial de- 
cree, and make common cause with our princes. 
You have heard of the inundations at Rome, and ' 
in Flanders and Brabant ; signs sent of God, but 
not understood by the wicked. You are aware, 
too, of the vision of the monks of Spire. Brentius 
writes me word, that a numerous army has been 
seen in the air at Baden, and, on its flank, a sol- 
dier, triumphantly brandishing a lance, and who 

passed by the adjoining mountain, and over the 
Rhine." (Dec. 5th.) Hardly was the diet dissolved 
before the Protestant princes assembled at Smal- 
kalde, and concluded a defensive league, by which 
they agreed to form themselves into one body. 
(Dec. 31st.) They entered a protest against the 
election of Ferdinand to the title of king of the 
Romans ; prepared for war, fixed the contingents, 
and addressed the kings of France, England, and 
Denmark. Luther was accused of having insti- 
gated the Protestants to assume this hostile atti- 
tude. " 1 have not advised resistance to the em- 
peror, as has been reported. My opinion, as a 
theologian, is. If the jurists can show by then- 
laws that resistance is allowable, I would leave 
them to follow their laws. If the emperor have 
ruled in his laws, that in such a case he may be 
resisted, let him suffer by the law of his own 
making. The prince is a political personage ; in 
acting as prince, he does not act as Christian ; for 
the Christian is neither prince, nor man, nor wo- 
man, nor any one of this world. If then it be law- 
ful for the prince, as prince, to resist Caesar, let 
him do as his judgment and his conscience dictate. 
To the Christian, nothing of the kind is lawful ; he is 
dead to the world." (Jan. 15th, 1531.) This year, 
(1531), Luther wrote an answer to a small work 
anonymously printed at Dresden, which accused 
the Protestants of secretly arming themselves, and 
wishing to surprise the Catholics, who were think- 
ing solely of peace and concord. " No one is to 
know the author of this work. Well, I will remain 
in ignorance too, I will have a cold for once, and 
not smell the awkward pedant. However, I will 
try my hand and strike boldly on the sack ; if the 
blows fall on the ass that can-ies it, it will not be my 
fault ; they were intended of course for the sack. 
Whether the charge agauist the Lutherans be true 
or not, is no concern of mine. I did not advise 
them to such a course ; but, since the papists an- 
nounce their belief in it, I can only rejoice in their 
illusions and alax'ms, and would willingly increase 
them if I could, were it only to kill them with fears. 
If Cain kills Abel, and Annas and Caiaphas perse- 
cute Jesus, 'tis just that they should be punished for 
it. Let them live in transports of alarm, tremble 
at the sound of a leaf, see in every quarter the 
phantom of insurrection and death ; nothing juster. 
Is it not true, impostors, that when our confession 
of faith was presented at Augsburg, a papist said, 
' Here they give us a book written with ink ; 
would they had to record their answer in blood ? 
Is it not true that the elector of Brandenburg, and 
duke George of Saxony, have promised the em- 
peror a supply of five thousand horses against the 
Lutherans ? Is it not true, that numbers of 
priests and lords have betted that it would be all 
over with the Lutherans before St. Michael's day ? 
Is it not true, that the elector of Brandenburg has 
publicly declared, that the emperor and all the em- 
pire would devote body and goods to this end ? Do 
you think yom- edict is not known? that we are un- 
aware that by that edict all the swords of the 
empire are unsheathed and sharpened, all its ca- 
valry in saddle, to fall upon the elector of Saxony 
and his party, in order to put all to fire and sword, 
and spread far and wide tears and desolation ? 
Look at your edict ; look at your murderous de- 
signs, sealed with your own seal and arms, and 
then dare accuse the Luthei-ans of troubling the 



A.D. 1534—1536. 

general harmony ? impudence, boundless hy- 
pocrisy ! . . . . But I understand you. You would have 
us neglect to prepare for the war with which you 
have been so long threatening us, so that we may 
be slaughtered unresistingly, like sheep by the 
butcher. Your servant, my good friends, I, a 
preacher of the word, ought to endure all this, and 
all, to whom this grace is given, ought equally to 
endure it. But that all the rest will, I cannot an- 
swer for to the tyrants. Were I publicly to recom- 
mend our party so to do, the tyrants would take ad- 
vantage of this, and I will not spare them the fear 
they entertain of our resistance. Do they wish to 
will their spurs by massacring us ? Let them win 
them with risk, as it becomes brave knights. Cut- 
throats by ti'ade, let them expect at least to be 
received like cutthroats. 

..." I care not about being accused of violence ; 
it shall be my glory and honour henceforward to 
have it said how I rage and storm against the 
papists. For more than ten years I have been hu- 
miliating myself, and speaking them fau'ly. To 
what end ? Only to exasperate the evil. Those 
clowns are but the haughtier for it. Well! since they 
are incorrigible, since there is no longer any hope 
of shaking their infernal resolutions by kindness, 1 
break with them, and will leave them no rest from 
my curses until I sink into the grave. They shall 
never more have a good word from me; I would 
have them buried to the sound of my thunders and 
lightnings. I can no longer pray without cursing. 
If I say, ' Hallowed he thy name,'' I feel myself con- 
strained to add, ' Accursed be the name of papists, 
and of all who blaspheme thee!' If I say,' Thy 
kingdom come,' I add, ' Cursed be the popedom, and 
all kingdoms opposed to thine.' If I say, ' Thy 
will be done,' I follow with, 'Cui-sed and disap- 
pointed be the schemes of the papists, and of all 
who fight against thee!' . . . Such are my ardent 
prayers daily, and those of all the truly faithful in 
Christ. . . . Yet do I keep towards all the world 
a kind and loving heart, and my greatest enemies 
themselves know it well. Often in the night, when 
unable to sleep, I ponder in my bed, painfully and 
anxiously, how the papists may yet be won to re- 
pent, before a fearful judgment overtakes them. 
But it seems that it must not be. They scorn re- 
pentance, and ask for our blood with loud cries. 
The bishop of Saltzbui'g said to Master Philip, at 
the diet of Augsburg : ' Wherefore so long dis- 
puting ? We are well aware that you are in the 
right V and another day: ' You will not yield, nor 
will we, so one party must exterminate the other; 
you are the little, we the great one; we shall see 
which will gain the day.' Never could I have 
thought to hear of such words being spoken," 

A.D. 1534 — 1536. 


Whilst the two great leagues of the princes are in 
presence, and seem to defy each other, a third 
starts up between them to their common dismay ; — 
the people, again, as in the war of the peasants, but 
an organized people, in possession of a wealthy city. 
The jacquerie of the north, more systematic than 
that of the south, produces the ideal of the German 

democracy of the sixteenth century — a biblical 
royalty, a popular David, a handicraft messiah. 
The mystic German companionship enthrouises a 
tailor. His attempt was daring, not absurd. Ana- 
baptism was in the ascendant, not in Munster only, 
but had spread into Westphalia, Brabant, Guelders, 
Holland, Frisia, and the whole littoral of the Baltic, 
as far as Livonia. The Anabaptists formalised the 
curse imprecated by the conquered peasants on 
Luther. They detested him as the friend of the 
nobles, the prop of civil authority, the remora of the 
Reformation. " There are four prophets — two true, 
two false; the true are David and John of Leyden, 
the false, the pope and Luther; but Luther is worse 
than the pope." 

" How the Gospel first arose at Munster, and how 
it ended there after the destruction of tlie Anabap- 
tists, A veritable history, and well worthy of being 
read and handed down {for the spirit of the Anabap- 
tists of Munster still liveth) ; narrated by Henricus 
Dorpius of that city." We shall confine ourselves to 
a summary of this prolix narrative: — 

Rothmann (a Lutheran or Zwinglian) first 
preached the Reformation at Munster in 1532, with 
such success that the bishop, at the landgrave of 
Hesse's intercession, allowed the Gospellers the use 
of six of his churches. Shortly afterwards a 
journeyman tailor (John of Leyden) introduced the 
doctrine of the Anabaptists into several families. 
He was aided in his labours by Hermann Stapraeda 
an Anabaptist preacher of Moersa; and their secret 
meetings soon became so numerous, that Catholics 
and Reformers equally took the alarm, and expelled 
the Anabaptists from the city. But they boldly re- 
turned, intimidated the council, and compelled it to 
fix a day for a public discussion in the town-hall, 
on the baptism of children; and Rothmann himseli' 
became their convertite, and one of their leaders. . . 
One day, one of their preachers x'uns through the 
streets, exclaiming, " Repent, repent; reform and 
be baptized, or suffer God's vengeance!" Whether 
through fear or religious zeal, many who heard him 
hurried to be baptized; and on this the Anabap- 
tists throng the market-place, crying out, " Down 
with the pagans who will not be baptized." They 
seize the cannon and ammunition, take possession 
of the town-hall, and maltreat all Catholics and 
Lutherans they fall in with. The latter, in their 
turn, coalesce, and attack the Anabaptists. After 
various indecisive struggles, it was agreed that 
each party should be free to profess its own belief; 
but the Anabaptists broke the treaty, and secretly 
summoned their brethren in the adjoining cities 
to Munster : — " Leave all you have," they wrote, 
"houses, wives, children; leave all, and join us: 

your losses shall be made up to you tenfold ' 

When the richer citizens saw the city crowded 
with strangers, they quitted it as they could (in 
Lent, 1534). Emboldened by their departure and 
the reinforcements they were receiving, the Ana- 
baptists soon replaced the town council, which was 
Lutheran, with men of their own party. Thej 
next took to plundering the churches and con- 
vents, and scoured the city, armed with halberts, 
arquebusses, and clubs, exclaiming, " Repent, 
Repent !" a cry which soon became, " Quit thu 
city, ye wicked! quit it, or be sacrificed!" and they 
pitilessly drove forth all who were not of their 
own sect, sparing neither aged men nor pregnant 

A.D. 1534—1536. 



women. Many of these poor fugitives fell into 
the bishop's hands, who was preparing to lay siege 
to the city, and who, disregardless of the fact that 
they wei-e not Anabaptists, threw some into prison, 
and executed others. 

The Anabaptists being now masters of the city, 
their chief prophet, John Matthiesen, ordered all 
to bring their goods into one common stock, without 
any reservation, under pain of death. The terrified 
people obeyed ; and the property of those they had 
expeUed the city was also appropi'iated. The pro- 
phet next proclaimed it to be the will of the Father, 
that all books should be burnt save the Old and 
New Testament ; and twenty thousand florins' 
worth of books were accordingly burnt in the 
squax-e before the cathedral. The same prophet 
shoots a farrier dead, who has maligned the pro- 
phets ; and, soon afterwards, runs through the 
streets, a halbert in his hand, crying out that the 
Father has ordered him to repulse the enemy. 
Hardly had he passed the gates before he was 
killed. He was succeeded by John of Leyden, who 
married his widow, and who reanimated the people, 
dispirited by the death of liis predecessor. The 
bishop ordered the assault to be delivered on Pen- 
tecost, but was repulsed with great loss. John of 
Leyden named twelve of the faithful (among whom 
were three nobles) to be ancients in Israel. . . . 
He also announced new revelations from God con- 
cerning marriage ; and the preachers, convinced 
by his arguments, preached for three days suc- 
cessively a plurality of wives. Many of the towns- 
men declared against the new doctrine, and even 
flung the preachers and one of the prophets into 
prison ; but were soon obliged to release them, 
with a loss of forty-nine on their part. 

On St. John's day, 1534, a new prophet, a gold- 
smith of Warendorff", assembled the people, and 
announced that it had been revealed to him that 
John of Leyden was to rule over the whole earth, 
and sit on the throne of David, until such time as 
God the Father should come and claim it. . . . The 
twelve ancients wei'e deposed, and John of Leyden 
proclaimed king. 

The more wives the Anabaptists took, the more 
the spirit of libertinism spread, and they committed 
fearful excesses on young girls of ten, twelve, and 
fourteen. These violences, and the distress conse- 
quent on the siege, alienated part of the inhabitants; 
and many suspected John of Leyden of imposi- 
tion, and thought of giving him up to the bishop. 
The king redoubled his vigilance, and nominated 
twelve bishops to maintain his authority in the 
town (Twelfth-day, 1534), promising them the 
thrones of all the princes of the earth, and distri- 
buting beforehand among them, electorates and 
principalities, exempting from this proscription 
" the noble landgrave of Hesse " alone, whom he 
hopes to have to call a brother in the faith. . . . 
He named Easter-day as the time the town would 
be delivered. . . . One of the queens, having ob- 
served that she could not think it to be God's will 
that the people should be left to die of misery and 
hunger, the king led her to the mai'ket-place, made 
her kneel down in the midst of his other wives in 
the same posture, and struck off" her head, whilst 
they sang, " Glory to God in the highest," and all 
the people danced around. Yet they were left 
with nothing to eat but bread and salt ; and, towards 
the close of the siege, regularly distributed the 

flesh of the dead, with the exception cf such as had 
died of contagious diseases. On St. John's day, 
1535, a deserter informed the bishop how he might 
attack the city with advantage ; and it was taken 
the self-same day, after an obstinate resistance and 
a general massacre of the Anabaptists. The king, 
with his vicar and his lieutenant, was borne off 
prisoner between two horses, a double chain round 
his neck, and his head and his feet bare. . . . The 
bishop questioned him sternly on the horrible cala- 
mity of which he had been the cause, when he 
replied, — " Francis of Waldeck (the bishop's name), 
if 1 had had my way, they should have all died of 
hunger before I would have surrendered the city.'' 

Many other interesting details ai'e given in a 
document, inserted in the second volume of 
Luther's German works (Witt's edition), under the 
following title: News of the Anabaptists of Munster. 

"... A week after the repulse of the first 
assault, the king began his reign by forming a com- 
plete court, appointing masters of ceremonies, and 
all the other officei's usual in the courts of secular 
princes ; and he chose a queen out of his wives, 
who has her court likewise. She is a handsome 
Dutch woman, of noble birth, who was the wife of a 
prophet recently killed, and who left her in the family 
way. The king has one-and-thirty horses covered 
with housings of cloth of gold, and has had costly 
robes made for himself, adonied with the gold and 
silver ornaments taken from the churches. His 
squire is similarly arrayed ; and he wears, besides, 
golden rings, as do the queen and her virgins. 
When the king parades the city in state, on horse- 
back, he is accompanied by pages ; one, on his 
right hand, beai'ing the crown and the Bible ; 
another, a naked sword. One of them is the bishop 
of Munster's son, who is a prisoner, and who is the 
king's valet. The king's triple crown is surmounted 
by a globe, transfixed with a golden and a silver 
sword ; and in the middle of the pummels of the 
two swords, is a small cross on which is inscribed, 
A king of justice over the zrorld. The queen 
wears the same. In this array, the king repairs 
tlnnce a week to the market-place, where he seats 
himself on a throne made on purpose. His lieute- 
nant, named Knipperdolling, stands a step lower, 
and then come the councilloi's. All who have 
business with the king, incline their bodies twice 
before the king, and prostrate themselves on the 
ground at the third inclination, before entering on 
their business. One Tuesday, they celebrated the 
holy supper in the public square; about four thou- 
sand two hundred sat down to table. There were, 
three courses ; bouilli, ham, then roast meat. The 
king, his wives, and their servants waited on the 
guests. After the meal, the king and the queen 
took barley bread, broke it, and distributed it, 
saying, ' Take, eat, and proclaim the Loi'd's death.' 
They then handed a jug of wine, saying, ' Take, 
drink all pf you, and proclaim the Lord's death.' 
In like manner, the guests broke their cakes, and 
presented them to each other, saying, ' Brothers 
and sisters, take and eat. Even as Jesus Christ 
off'ered himself up for me, so do I wish to offer 
myself up for thee ; and even as the grains of 
barley are joined in this cake, and the grapes in 
this wine, so are we united.' They also exhorted 
one another to use no idle words, or break the law 
of the Lord ; and concluded by retuming thanks to 
God, ending with the canticle, Glory be to God in 



A.D. 1534—153(5. 

the highest. The king, his wives, and servants, then 
sat down with them at table. When all was over, 
the king asked the assembly, whether they were 
ready to do and suffer God's will ? They all re- 
plied, Yea. Then the prophet John of Warendorff, 
arose and said, ' That God had bade him send forth 
some from among them to announce the miracles 
which they had witnessed;' adding, that those 
whom he should name were to repair to four towns 
of the empire, and preach there. . . . Each of 
these was presented with a piece of gold, of the 
value of nine florins, together with money for his 
expenses ; and they set out that very evening. 

" They reached the appointed cities on the eve of 
St. Gall, and paraded the streets, crying out, ' Re- 
pent ye, for God's mercy is exhausted. The axe is 
already at the root of the tree. Your city must 
accept peace, or perish!' Taken before the coun- 
cil, they laid their cloaks on the gi'ound, and casting 
into them the said pieces of gold, they said, ' We 
are sent by the Father to declare peace unto you. 
If you accept it, bring all your goods together in 
common; if you will not, we protest against you 
before God with this piece of gold, which shall be 
for a witness that you have rejected the peace 
which he sent you. The time is now come foretold 
by the prophets, the time when God wills there to 
be only justice upon earth; and when the king 
shall have established the reign of justice all over 
the earth, then Jesus Christ will remit the govern- 
ment into the hands of the Father.' They were 
then thrown into prison, and interrogated on their 

belief, way of life, &c They said that there 

were four prophets, two true, two false; that the 
true were David and John of Leyden; the false, 
the pope and Luther. ' Luther,' they said, ' is still 
worse than the pope.' They consider all Anabap- 
tists elsewhere as damned. . , . ' In Munster,' they 
said, ' we have in general from five to eight wives, 
or more ; but each is obliged to confine himself to 
one until she is pregnant. All young girls, above 
twelve, must marry.' . . . They destroy churches 
and all buildings consecrated to God. . . . They 
are expecting, at Munster, people from Groningen 
and other countries of Holland, and when they 
come, the king will arise with all his forces, and 
subjugate the whole earth. They hold it to be im- 
possible to comprehend Scripture aright, without 
its being interpreted by prophets ; and when it is 
objected to them that they cannot justify their en- 
terprise by Scripture, some say that their Father 
does not allow them to explain themselves there- 
upon ; others answer, ' The prophet has com- 
manded it by God's order.' Not one of them 
would purchase mercy by retreating. They sang 
and returned thanks to God that they had been 
found worthy to suffer for his name's sake." 

The Anabaptists, who were called upon by the 
landgrave of Hesse to justify themselves for having 
elected a king, replied (Jan. 1535), " That the time 
for the restoration mentioned by the holy books 
was come; that the Gospel had thrown open to 
them the prison of Babylon ; and that it now be- 
hoved to render unto the Babylonians according to 
their works ; and that an attentive penisal of the 
prophets and the Apocalypse, &c., would show the 
landgrave whether they had elected a king of them- 
selves or by God's ordei-, &c. 

After the convention entered into in 1533, be- 
tween the bishop of Munster and the city, and 

which was brought about by the mediation of the 
landgrave of Hesse's councillors . . . the Anabap- 
tists sent the landgrave their book De Restitiilionc. 
He read it with indignation, and ordered his theo- 
logians to reply to it, and to oppose the Anabap- 
tists on nine points, which he particularly specified, 
and in which he objects to them, amongst other 
things, — 1st, The making justification consist not 
in faith alone, but in faith and works together. 
2nd, Of unjustly accusing Luther of never having 
preached good works. 3rd, Of defending free-will. 
In the De Restitutione, the Anabaptists classified 
the whole history of the world into three principal 
parts. " The first world, which lasted until Noah, 
was sunk beneath the waters. The second, that 
in which we live, will be melted and purified by 
fire. The third will be a new heaven and a new 
earth, inhabited by justice. This is what God pre- 
figured in the holy ark, in which there were the 
porch, the sanctuary, and the Holy of Holies. . . . 
The coming of the third world will be preceded by 
universal restitution and chastisement. The wicked 
will be put to death, the reign of justice prepared, 
Christ's enemies cast down, and all things restored. 
It is this time which is now beginning." 

"Discourse or Discussion, held at Beverger, by An- 
thony Corvinus and John Kymeus, with John of Ley- 
den, king of Munster. — When the king entered our 
room, with his gaoler, we gave him a friendly 
greeting, and invited him to take a seat by the 
fire. We enquired after his health, and how he 
felt in his prison. He replied that he suffered 
from the cold there, and was ill at heart, but that 
since it was God's will, he ought to endure all pa- 
tiently. By degi'ees, and convex-sing friendly with 
him, for we could get nothing out of him by any 
other means, we drew him on to speak of his king- 
dom and his doctrine as follows : — 

Opening of the examination. The ministers. " Dear 
John, we have heard extraordinary and horrible 
things of your government. If they are as told us, 
and, unfortunately, the whole is only too true, we 
cannot conceive how you can justify your under- 
taking from Holy Scripture." 

Tfie king. " What we have done and taught, we 
have done and taught rightfully, and we can justify 
our undertaking, our actions, and our doctrine before 
God, and to whomsoever it belongs to judge us." 

Tlie ministers object to him, that the spiritual 
kingdom of Jesus Christ is alone spoken of in Scrip- 
ture ; " My kingdom is not of this world," are his 
own words. 

The king. " I clearly comprehend your argu- 
ment touching the spiritual kingdom of Jesus, and 
do not contravene the texts you quote. But you 
must distinguish the spiritual kingdom of Jesus 
Christ, which has reference to the time of suffering, 
and of which, after all, neither you nor Luther 
have any clear notion, from that other kingdom, 
which, after the resurrection, will be established in 
this world for a thousand years. All the texts 
which treat of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus, 
relate to the time of suffering ; but those which we 
find in the prophets and the Apocalypse, and which 
treat of the temporal kingdom, refer to the time 
of glory and of power, which Jesus will enjoy in 
this world with his followers. Our kingdom of 
Munster was an image of this temporal kingdom 
of Christ's. You know that God announces many 
things by figures. We believed that our kingdom 

A.D. 1534—1536. 



would last until the coming of the Lord ; but we 
now see our eiTor on this point, and that of our 
propliets. However, since we have been in prison, 
God has revealed to us the true understanding 
. . I am not ignorant that you commonly refer those 
passages to Christ's spiritual kingdom, which ought 
to be understood of the temporal. But of what 
use are these spiritual interpretations, if nothing 
is to be one day realized ? . . . God's chief object 
in creating the world, was to take pleasure in men, 
to whom he has given a reflection of his strength 
and his power." 

The ministers. " And how will you justify youx'self 
when God shall ask you on the day of judgment, 
' Who made you king ? Who ordered you to dif- 
fuse such frightful eri'ors, to the great detriment 
of my word V " 

The kiuij. " I shall answer, ' The prophets of 
Munster ordered rae so to do, as being your di- 
vine will ; in proof whereof they pledged me their 
body and soul.' " 

T/ie ministers enquire what divine revelations 
he enjoyed touching his elevation to the throne. 

The king. " I was vouchsafed no revelation ; only 
thoughts came into my head, that there must be a 
king in Munster, and that I must be that king. 
These thoughts deeply agitated and afflicted rae. 
I prayed to God to deign to consider my inability, 
and not to load me with such a burden ; but if lie 
willed otherwise, I besought him to grant that I 
should be designated as the chosen person by 
prophets worthy of faith, and in possession of his 
word, so held my peace, and communicated my 
thoughts to no one. But a fortnight afterwards, a 
prophet arose in the midst of the people, and pro- 
claimed that God had made known to him that 
John of Leyden was to be king. He annomiced 
the same to the council, who immediately divested 
themselves of their power and proclaimed me king. 
He, likewise, placed in my hand the sword of jus- 
tice. On this wise it was that I became king." 

Second Article. The king. " We only resisted 
the authorities because they forbade us our bap- 
tism and God's word, and we resisted to violence. 
You assert that we acted wrongfully therein, but 
does not St. Peter say, that we are to obey God 
rather than men ? . . . You would not pass whole- 
sale condemnation on what we have done, did you 
know how those things took place." . . , 

The ministers. " Set off and justify your acts 
as you may, you will not the less be rebels and 
guilty of high treason. The Christian is bound to 
suffer ; and though the whole council had been of 
your party, (which was not the case,) you ought to 
have borne with violence rather than have begun 
such a schism, sedition, and tyranny, in opposition 
alike to the word of God, the majesty of the em- 
peror, the royal dignity, and that of the electorate, 
and princes and states of the empire." 

Tlie king. " We know what we have done ; God 
be our judge." 

The ministers. " We, too, know the foundation we 
have for whatwesay: God be our judge, likewise!" 
Third Article. The king. " We have been be- 
sieged and destroyed on account of God's holy 
word ; for it, have suffered hunger and all evils, 
have lost our friends, and have fallen into this 
frightful calamity ! Those of us who still live will 
die uni-esistingly, and uncomplainingly, like tlie 
slaughtered lamb." . . . 

Fifth Article. The king said, that he had long 
been of Zwingle's opinion ; but that he returned to 
the belief in transubstaiitiation. Only he does not 
grant his interlocutors that it is operant in him who 
is without faith. 

Sixth Article. "... What then do ye make 
of Jesus Christ, if he did not receive flesh and 
blood from his mother Mary ? Will you have him 
to have been a phantom, a spectre ? Our Urbanns 
Regius must print a second book to teach to under- 
stand your native tongue, or your asses' heads will 
always be impervious to instruction." 

The king. " If yon knew the infinite consolation 
contained in the knowledge that Jesus Christ, God 
and Son of the Uviug God, became man, and shed 
his blood, not Mary's, to redeem our sins (He who 
is without blemish), you would not speak as you do, 
and you would not entertain such contempt for our 

Seventh Article. On Polygamy. The king ob- 
jects to the ministers the examples of the patri- 
archs. The ministers entrench themselves behind 
the generally established custom of modern times, 
and declare marriage to be res poUtlca. The king 
contends that it is better to have many wives than 
many harlots, and concludes again with the words, 
" God be our judge." 

Although drawn up by the mmisters themselves, 
the impression left by a perusal of this document is 
not favom'able to them. One cannot help admiring 
the firmness, good sense, and modest simplicity of 
the king of Munster, which were made more con- 
spicuous still by the pedantic harshness of his 

Corvinus and Kymeus to the Christian reader : 
" We have reported our conversation with the 
king, almost word for word, without omitting one 
of his arguments; only we have put them into our 
own language, and stated them more scholarly. 
About a week after, he sent to beg us to confer 
again with him. We had a fresh discussion, which 
lasted t\VD days. We found him moi'e docile than 
the first time, but only saw in this a desire to save 
his life. He voluntarily declared, that if pardoned, 
he would, with the help of Melchior Hoffman, and 
his queens, exhort to silence and obedience all the 
Anabaptists, who, according to him, are very nume- 
rous m Holland, Brabant, England, and Frisia ; 
and even get them to baptize their children, until 
arrangements could be entered into with the civil 
power with regard to their religion." . . . There 
follows a new profession of faith, in which John of 
Leyden, whilst exhorting the Anabaptists to obe- 
dience, gives it to be miderstood that he means out- 
ward obedience only. He recants none of his pe- 
culiar doctrines, and desh-es liberty of conscience. 
With regard to the Eucharist, he declares all his 
brethren to be Zwinglians, but states that God has 
shown him his error on this point whilst in prison. 
This confession is signed in Dutch : /, John of Ley- 
den, signed with my otcn hand. 

On the 19th of January, 153G, John of Leyden, 
and Knipperdolling and Krechting, his vicar and 
his lieutenant, were removed from tlieir dungeons; 
and the next day the bishop sent his chaplain to 
confer with them separately on their belief and 
acts. The king testified repentance and retracted; 
but the two others justified all they had done. . . . 
The morning of the 22nd all the gates of Munster 
were closed; and, about eight o'clock, the king, 



A.D. 1534—1536. 

stripped to the waist, was led to a scaffold erected 
in the market-place, which was guarded by two 
hundred foot soldiers and three hundred horse, and 
crowded with spectators. He was bound to a post, 
and two executioners tore off his flesh by turns with 
red-hot pincers, until at last one of them plunged a 
knife into his breast, and so finished the execution, 
which had lasted for an hour. " At the three first 
wrenches of the pincers the king uttered no cry; 
but, afterwards, kept incessantly exclaiming, with 
eyes raised to heaven, ' my Father, take pity on 
me.'' and he prayed to God earnestly to forgive him 
his sins. When he felt himself sinking, he ex- 
claimed: ' my Father, I yield my spirit into thy 
hands,' and expired. His dead body was flung upon 
a hurdle, and dragged to the open place in front of 
St. Lambert's tower, where three iron panniers 
were ready, into one of which it was put, and secured 
with chains, and then hoisted to the top of the 
tower, where it was suspended by a hook. Knip- 
perdoUing and Ki-echting weve executed in the.^ 
same hoi'rible manner; and their bodies placed in 
the two other panniers, and suspended on either side 
of John of Leyden's, only not so high." 

Luther's preface to the News of the Anabaptists of 
Munster : — " Ah ! what and how ought 1 to write 
against or upon these poor people of Munster ! Is 
it not clear that the devil reigns there in person, or, 
rather, that there is a whole troop of devils 1 Let 
us, however, recognize here the infinite grace and 
mercy of God. After Germany, by innumerable 
blasphemies and the blood of so many innocents, 
has deserved so severe a rod, still the Father of all 
mercy withholds the devil from striking his deadliest 
blow, and gives us paternal warning by the gross 
game Satan is playing at Munster. God's power 
constrains the spirit of a hundred wiles to set about 
his work awkwardly and unskilfully, in order to 
allow us time to escape by repentance from the 
better-aimed blows reserved for us. In fact, for 
the spirit who seeks to deceive the world to begin 
by taking women, by stretching forth the hand to 
gi'asp honours and the kingly sword, or else, by 
slaughtering people, is too gross. All can see that 
such a spirit only seeks its own elevation, and to 
crush all besides. To deceive, you should don a grey 
gown, assume a sad and piteous air, refuse money, 
eat no meat, fly women like poison, reject as dam- 
nable all temporal power, refuse the sword, then 
stoop gently down and stealthily pick up crown, 
sword, and keys. A show like this might deceive 
even the wise and spiritual. There were a fine 
devil, with feathers finer than peacock or pheasant ! 
But to seize the crown so impudently, to take not 
only one wife, but as many as caprice and lust dic- 
tates ! Ah ! this is the act of a devilkin in his 
horn-book; or else, of the true Satan, the learned 
and able Satan, but fagoted by God's hands with 
such potent chains as to be unable to act more cun- 
ningly. And so the Lord warns us to dread his 
chastisements, lest he leave the field free to a 
learned devil, who will attack us, not with the 
A, B, C, but with the true text, the difficult text. 
If he does such things as a devilkin at school, what 
would he not do as arational, wise, learned, lawyer- 
like doctor of divinity devil ? 

"... When God, in his wrath, deprives us of 
his word, no deceit of the devil's is too gross. The 
first attempts of Mahomet were gross; j'ct, God in- 
terposing no obstacle in his way, a damnable and 

infamous empire has grown up, as all the world 
knows: and if God had not been our aid against 
MUnzer, a Turkish empire would have arisen 
through him, like unto Mahomet's. In fine, no 
spark is so small, but that, if God suffers the devil 
to blow at it, a fire may be kindled to consume the 
whole world. The best weapon against the devil is 
the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. The 
devil is a spirit, and laughs at cuirass, horse, and 
horseman. But our lords, bishops, and princes 
will not allow the Gospel to be preached, and souls 
to be rescued from the devil by the divine word: 
they think throat-cutting sufficient, and so rob the 
devil of bodies whilst leaving him souls. They will 
succeed in like manner as the Jews, who thought to 
exterminate Christ by crucifying him. . . . The 
Munsterites, among other blasphemies, speak of the 
birth of Jesus Christ as if he did not come (such is 
their language) of the seed of Mary, and yet was of 
the seed of David. But they do not explain them- 
selves clearly. The devil keeps the hot soup in his 
mouth, and only mutters mum, mum, meaning, pro- 
bably, to infer worse. All that one can make out 
is, that accordmg to them, Mary's seed or flesh 
cannot redeem us. Well, devil ! mutter and spit 
as you list, that one little word born overthrows all 
you say. In all tongues, and over all the earth, 
the child of flesh and blood, who issues from the 
entrails of woman, is said to be born, and nothing 
else. Now, Scripture every where says, that Jesus 
Christ is born of his mother Mary, and is her first- 
born. So speak Isaiah, Gabriel, &c. ' Thou shalt 
conceive, &c.' To conceive, my duck, does not mean 
to be a funnel through which water flows (according 
to the Manichean blasphemy), but that a child is 
taken out of the flesh and blood of his mother, is 
nourished in her, grows in her, and is at last 
brought into the world. The other tenet main- 
tained by these folk, namely, that infant baptism 
is a pagan rite, is similarly gross. And since they 
regard all that the wicked possess as unholy, why 
did they not reject the gold, silver, and other goods 
they took from the wicked in Munster ? They 
ought to coin quite new gold and silver. . . Their 
wicked kingdom is so visibly a kingdom of gross 
imposture and revolt, that it recks not to speak of 
it. I have already said too much." 

A.D. 1536 — 1545. 


The momentary union of the Catholics and Pro- 
testants against the Anabaptists, left them only the 
greater enemies. A general council was talked of ; 
but the pope dreaded it, and the Protestants re- 
jected it beforehand. " I hear from the diet that 
the emperor urges a council on our friends, and is 
indignant at their refusal. I cannot understand 
these monstrosities. The pope asserts that heretics 
cannot sit in a council ; the emperor wishes us to 
consent to the council and its decrees. Perhaps 
God is turning them mad. . . . But their mad de- 
sign, no doubt, is, that since pope, empei'or, 
church, and diets have failed, they will try to cry 
us down by representing us as so lost and desperate, 
as to reject the council which we have so often 

A.D. 1536-1545. 



asked for. See Satan's cleverness against the poor 
fool of a God, who, undoubtedly, will be put to it to 
escape such well-laid snares ! . . . Now, it is the 
Lord who will make a mock of them who mock 
him. If we agree to a council so disposed towards 
us, why did we not five-and-twenty years since 
submit to the pope, the lord of councils and to all 
his bulls ?" (July 9th, 1545.) 

A council might have concentrated the catholic 
hierarchy, but could not have re-established the 
unity of the church. The question could be settled 
by arms only. The Protestants had already driven 
the Austrians out of Wirtemberg, had despoiled 
Henry of Brunswick, who was turning the execu- 
tion of the decrees of the Imperial Chamber into a 
source of proiit for himself, and were encouraging 
the archbishop of Cologne to follow the example of 
Albert of Bi'andenburg, and secularize his arcli- 
bishopric, which would have given them a majority 
in the electoral council. However, some attempts 
were still made at reconciliation, and conferences 
uselessly opened at Worms and Ratisbon (a.d. 
1540, 1541), at which Luther did not even think it 
necessary to be present. He writes that he hears 
from Melanchthon that the numbers of learned per- 
sonages, from all quarters, in the synod at Worms, 
exceeds all precedent ; and, speaking of the strata- 
gems resorted to by the Catholic party, says, " One 
would fancy one saw Satan himself, with the break 
of day, running to and fro in a vain search for some 
den dark enough to shut out the light which pur- 
sues him." (Jan. 9th, 1541.) Luther's opinion 
was desired upon ten ai'ticles, which had been 
agreed upon by the two parties, when the elector, 
hearing that they were about to be foi'warded with- 
out being first submitted to him, drew up a reply 
himself ; an interference which would have aroused 
Luther's indignation some years before, but by this 
time he seems to have felt wearied and disgusted 
with the consciousness that his labours to re- 
establish evangelical purity, had only furnished the 
great of the earth with the means of satisfying their 
terrestrial ambition. " Our excellent prince has given 
me the conditions of peace to read, which he intends 
to propose to the emperor and our adversaries. 1 
see that they consider the whole affair as a comedy 
to be played amongst them, whilst it is a tragedy be- 
twixt God and Satan, in which Satan triumphs, and 
God is humiliated. But the catastrophe will come, 
when the Almighty, author of this tragedy, will 
give us the victory." (April 4th, 1541.) 

We noticed at an early period of this narrative, 
the melancholy state of dependance in which the 
Reformation was placed on the princes that es- 
poused the cause. Luther had time to foresee the 
results. These princes were men, with men's 
caprices and passions ; and hence concessions, 
which, without being contrary to the principles of 
the Reformation, seemed to i-edound little to the 
honour of the reformers. The most warlike of 
these princes, the hot-headed landgrave of Hesse, 
submitted to Luther and the Protestant ministers, 
that his health would not allow of his confining 
himself to one wife. His instructions to Bucer for 
the negotiation of this matter with the theologians 
of Wittemberg, are a curious mixture of sensuality, 
of religious fears, and of daring simplicity. " Ever 
since I have been married," he writes, " I have 
lived in adultery and fornication ; and as I won't 
give up this way of living, I cannot present myself 

at the holy table ; for St. Paul has said, that the 
adulterer shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." 
He proceeds to state the reasons which drive him 
into this course : " My wife is neither good-looking 
nor good-tempered ; she is not sweet ; she drinks, 
and my chamberlains can tell what she then does, 
&c. I am of a warm complexion, as the physicians 
can prove ; and as I often attend tJie imperial 
diets, where the body is pampered with high living, 
how am I to manage there without a wife, espe- 
cially as I can't be always taking a seraglio about 
with me ? . . . How can I punish fornication and 
other crimes, when all may turn round and say, 
' Master, begin with yourself ?' . . . Were I to 
take up arms for the Gospel's sake, I could only do 
so with a troubled conscience, for I should say to 
myself, ' If you die in this war, you go to the 
devil.' ... I have read both the Old and New 
Testament carefully, and find no other help indi- 
cated than to take a second wife ; and I ask before 
God, why cannot I do what Abraham, Jacob, 
David, Lamech, and Solomon have done ?" The 
question of polygamy had been agitated from the 
very beginning of Protestantism, which professed 
to restore the world to scriptural life ; and, what- 
ever his repugnance, Luther durst not condemn 
the Old Testament. Besides, the Protestants held 
marriage to be res poUtica, and subject to the regula- 
tions of the civil power. Luther, too, had already 
held, theoretically, and without advising it to be 
put in practice, the very doctrine advanced by the 
landgrave. He had written years before: ..." I 
confess, I cannot say that polygamy is repugnant 
to Holy Scripture, yet would not have the practice 
introduced amongst Christians, who ought to abstain 
even from what is lawful, in order to avoid scandal, 
and in order to maintain that Iwnestas (decorum) 
which St. Paul requireth under all circumstances." 
(Jan. 13th, 1524.) "Polygamy is not allowable 
amongst Christians, except in cases of absolute ne- 
cessity, as when a man is forced to separate from 
a leprous wife, &c." . . . (March 21st, 1527.) 
Having one day put the case to doctor Basilius, 
whether a man, whose wife was afflicted with some 
incurable malady, might take a concubine, and 
receiving an answer in the affirmative, Luther ob- 
served, " It would be of dangerous precedent, since 
excuses might be daily invented for procuring di- 
vorces." (a.d. 1539.) 

Luther was greatly embarrassed by the land- 
grave's message. All the theologians of Wittem- 
berg assembled to draw up an answer, and the 
result was a compromise. He was allowed a 
double marriage, on condition that his second wife' 
should not be publicly recognized. " Your highness 
must be aware of the difference between establish- 
ing a universal and granting an exceptional law. 
. . . We cannot publicly sanction a plurality of 
wives. . . . We pray your highness to consider the 
dangers in which a man would stand who should 
introduce a law that would disunite families, and 
plunge them into endless law-suits. . . . Your 
highness's constitution is weak, you sleep badly, 
and your health requires every care. . . . The 
great Scanderbeg often exhorted his soldiers to 
chastity, saying that nothing was so injurious in 
their calling as incontinence. . . . We pray your 
highness seriously to take into consideration the 
scandals, cares, labours, griefs, and infirmities 
herem brought under your notice. ... If, never- 



A.D. 1536—1545. 

theless, your highness is fully resolved to take a 
second wife, we are of opinion that the marriage 
should be secret. . . . Given at Wittemberg, after 
the festival of St. Nicholas, 1539. — Martin Luther, 
Philip Melanchthon, Martin Bucer, Antony 
CoRviN, Adam, John Lening, Justin Wintfert, 
Dyonisius Melanther." 

It was hard for Luther, who, both as theologian 
and as a father of a family, w"as identified with the 
sanctity of the marriage tie, to declare that in virtue 
of the Old Testament two wives might seat them- 
selves, with their jealousies and their hates, at the 
same domestic heai-th ; and he groaned under this 
cross. " As to the Macedonian business, grieve not 
overmuch, since things are come to that pass, that 
neither joy nor sadness availeth. Why kill our- 
selves ? Why allow sorrow to banish the thoughts 
of him who has overcome all deaths and all sor- 
rows ? Did not he who conquered the devil and 
judged the prince of this world, at the self-same 
time judge and conquer this scandal ? . . . Let 
Satan triumph, and let us be neither chagrined nor 
grieved, but let us rejoice in Christ, who will dis- 
comfit all our enemies." (June 18th, 1540.) He 
seems to have looked to the emperor's interfering. 
" If Csesar and the empire will, as they perforce 
must, put a stop to this scandal, an edict will soon 
stay it, and prevent its being hereafter used as either 
a right or an example." From this time forward, 
Luther's letters, and those of Melanchthon, are full 
of disgust and sadness. 

On Luther's being asked for a letter of recom- 
mendation to the court of Dresden, he replies, that 
he has lost all credit and influence there ; in that 
" worldly court," as he sometimes calls it. To a 
friend (Lauterbach) he writes : " I will be present 
at your marriage in mind, not in body, being hin- 
dered, not only by pressure of business, but by the 
fear of off'ending the Mamelukes and queen of the 
kingdom (the duchess Catherine of Saxony ?) for 
who is not offended with Luther's folly ?" " You 
ask me, my dear Jonas, to write an occasional 
word of comfort to you. But I stand much more 
in need of your letters to revive me, who, like Lot, 
have so much to endure in the midst of this infa- 
mous and Satanic ingratitude, this hon'ible con- 
tempt for the Lord's word. ... I must, then, see 
Satan take possession of the hearts of those who 
fancy that the chiefest seats in the kingdom of 
Heaven are reserved for them alone !" The Pro- 
testants were already beginning to relax from their 
severity of manners, and the bagnios were re- 
opened. " Better," exclaims Luther, "not to have 
driven out Satan, than to bring him back in greater 
force." (Sept. 13th, 1540.) 

" The pope, the emperor, the Frenchman, and 
Ferdinand, have despatched a magnificent em- 
bassy to the Turks to demand peace .... and, 
last of all, for fear of offending the eyes of the 
Turks, the ambassadors have put themselves into 
Turkish robes. I trust these are blessed signs of 
the approaching end of all things !" (July 17th, 

To Jonas. " Hark in thy ears ! I shrewdly sus- 
pect that we Lutherans shall be packed off to fight 
the Turks single-handed. King Ferdinand has 
removed the war-chest from Bohemia, and forbade 
a single soldier to stir, and the emperor does 
nothing ; as if it were settled that we should be 
exterminated by the Turks." (Dec. 29th, 1542.) 
" Nothing new here, except that the margrave of 
Brandenburg is getting evil spoken of by every 
one, with regard to the war in Hungary. They 
speak just the same of Ferdinand. I descry so 
many and such probable reasons for it, that I can- 
not help believing there is horrible and deadly 
treachery there." (Jan. 26th, 1542.) " I ask, 
what will be the end of this horrible treachery 
of the princes and kings 1" (Dec. 16th, 1543.) 
" May God avenge us on the incendiaries ( Luther 
speaks, almost every month, of fires occurring at 
Wittemberg). Satan has devised a new plan for 
getting rid of us. Our wine is poisoned, and lime 
mixed with our milk. Twelve persons have been 
rolled by poisoned wine at Jena. Perhaps they 
died of excess of drink ; but at all events, it is 
given out for certain that dealers have been de- 
tected selling poisoned milk at Magdebui-g and 
Northuse." (April, 1541.) He writes to Amsdorf, 
on occasion of the plague, at Magdeburg : " What 
you tell me of the alarm felt of the plague, reminds 
me of what I observed some years since ; and I 
am surprised to see that the more life in Christ 
Jesus is preached, the stronger grows the fear of 
death ; whether this fear were lessened, during 
the reign of the pope, by a false hope of life, and 
that now the true hope of life is placed before the 
people, they feel how weak nature is to believe 
in the conqueror of death, or that God tempts us 
by these weaknesses, and allows Satan to grow 
bolder and stronger on account of this alarm ! 
Whilst we beHeved in the pope, we were as di-unk- 
ards, men asleep, or fools, mistaldng death for life, 
that is, ignorant of the nature of death and of God's 
wrath. Now that the light has shone upon us, and 
that God's wrath is better known, nature has 
shaken off" sleep and folly, and hence greater fear 
than before, . . . Here I apply the passage of the 
seventy-first Psalm, ' Cast me not away in the time 
of age ; forsake me not when my strength faileth me.' 
For I think that these are the latter days of 
Christ, and the time of casting down ; that is, 
the time of the last great assault of the devil, 
as David, in his latter days, weakened by years, 
would have fallen before the giant, had not Abishai 
come to his aid. ... I have learnt almost all this 
year to sing with St. Paul, ' As dying, and behold, 
u-e lire ,-' and ' By your njoicing, which I have in 
Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.' When he says 
to the Corinthians, 'In deaths oft,' 'this was not 
meditating or speculating on death, but the sensa- 
tion of death itself, as if hope of life there were 
none." (Nov. 20th, 1538.) "I trust that with 
tkis rending of the world, Christ will hasten his 
coming and crush the globe to atoms, tit fractus 
illahatur orbis." (Feb. 12th, 1538.) 

A.D. 1530—1546. 




A.D. 1530— 154(;. 


Luther's conversations on domestic life, on wives 

AND children, AND ON NATURE. 

Let us pause in this sad history of the last years 
of his public life, and retii'e with Luther into his 
private life, seat ourselves at his table, by the side 
of his wife, and in the midst of his children and 
friends, and listen to the grave words of the pious 
and tender father of a family. 

" The man who insults preachers and women, 
will never succeed well. From women proceed chil- 
dren, the future heads of families and of the state. 
To despise them, is to despise God and man." 
" The Saxon law is too hard in giving the widow a 
chair and her distaff only. The first we should 
interpret to mean, a house ; the second, her main- 
tenance. We pay our lacquey ; what do I say, 
we give more to a beggar 1" " There can be no 
doubt, that women who die in the faith in child- 
bearing, are saved, because they die fulfilling the 
end for which God created them." " In the Low 
Countries, the priest, on his induction, chooses 
some little girl as his betrothed, in sign of hon- 
ouring the marriage state." 

Luther being asked whether a Christian 
preacher, who is bound to suffer imprisonment and 
persecution for the word's sake, ought not much 
more to do without marriage ? replied: '' It is 
easier to endure imprisonment than desire, as I 
know in my own person. The more I strove to 
macerate and subdue the flesh, the more I lusted. 
Even though gifted with chastity, one ought to 
marry to spite the pope. . . . Had I been seized 
with a fatal illness, I should have wished to sum- 
mon some pious maid to my death-bed, and wed her, 
presenting her with two silver goblets as a wedding- 
gift and morrow's present {morgengabe), in order to 
show how I honoured marriage." To a friend he 
writes: " If you lust, marry. You want a wife at 
once beautiful, pious, and rich. Well, you can have 
one painted, with red cheeks and white limbs, and 
such are the most pious; but they are worth nothing 
for kitchen or couch. ... No one will ever have to 
repent rising early and marrying young. ... It 
is no more possible to do without a wife than with- 
out eating and drinking. Conceived, nourished, 
borne within the body of woman, our flesh is mainly 
hers, and it is impossible for us ever to separate 
wholly from her. . . . Had I wished to make love, 
I should have taken thirteen years ago to Ave 
Schonfeldin, who is now the wife of doctor Basilius, 
the Prussian physician. At that time I did not 
love my Catherine, whom I suspected of being 
proud and haughty ; but it was God's will ; it was 
his will that I should take pity on her, and I have 
cause, God be praised, to be satisfied." 

" The greatest grace God can bestow is to have a 
good and pious husband, with whom you may live 
in peace, to whom you can trust every thing, even 
your body and your life, and by whom you have 

little children. Catherine, thou hast a pious hus- 
band, who loves thee; thou art an empress. Thanks 
be to God!" 

Alluding to immorality in men, Luther observed: 
" Let them know that they are, after all, but des- 
pisers of the sex, who wei-e not created for their 
brutal pleasures. . . 'Tis a great thing for a young 
girl to be always loved, and the devil but seldom 
allows it. . . My hostess of Eisenach said well, 
when I was a student there: ' There is no sveeter 
pleasure upon earth than to be loved by a woman.'' " 

" On St. Martin's day (doctor Martin Luther's 
birth-day), master Ambrosius Brend came to ask 
him his niece in marriage. . . . One day, surprising 
them in close conversation, he burst out laughing, 
and said: 'I am not surprised at a lover having so 
much to say to his mistress; can they ever tire? 
We must not put them out of the way; they have a 
privilege above law and custom !' When he be- 
trothed her to him, he addressed him as follows: — 
' Sir, and dear friend, I give you this young maid, 
such as God in his goodness gave her unto me. I 
confide her to your hands. May God bless you, 
sanctify your union, and make it happy !' " 
" Being present at the marriage of John Lu'ffte's 
daughter, he led her to her bed after supper, and 
said to the husband, that, according to common 
custom, he was to be master of the house .... 
when the wife was not in it; and, in token of this, 
he took one of the husband's shoes, and put it on 
the top of the bed, showing that he so assumed do- 
minion and government." 

Being one day in very high spirits at table, " Be 
not scandalized," he said, " to see me so merry. I 
have heard a great deal of bad news to-day, and 
have just read a letter violently abusing me. Our 
affairs must be going on well, since the devil is 
storming so !" 

" Were I to make love again, I would have an 
obedient wife carved for me in stone ; I should 
despair of getting one any other way." " Strange 
thoughts come into one's head the first year of 
mai'riage. When at table, one says to oneself, 
' Just now thou wert alone, now thou art two ' 
(selbatider). On awaking, one sees another head 
by the side of one's own. The first year my 
Catherine used to sit by me whilst I was studying, 
and, not knowing what to say, she asked me, ' Sir 
doctor, in Prussia, is not the maitre d'hotel the 
margrave's brother V " " There should be no 
delay between the betrothals and the marriage. . . 

Friends interpose obstacles All my best 

friends kept crying, 'Don't take her, take an- 
other.' " " A sure sign that God is hostile to the 
papacy is, that he has refused it the blessing of 
corporeal fruit (childi'en). . . . When Eve was 
brought before Adam, he was filled with the Holy 
Ghost, and gave her the most beautiful and glorious 
of names, calling her Eca, that is, mother of all 
living. He did not call her his wife, but mother, 
mother of all living. This is woman's glory, and 



A.D, 1530—1546. 

most precious ornament. She is Fons omnium 
■viventium, the source of all human life ; a brief 
plirase, but such as neither Demosthenes nor 
Cicero could have expressed. The Holy Ghost 
here speaks by our first father, and having passed 
so noble a eulogy on marriage, it is but right in us 
to extenuate the weaknesses of women. No more 
did Jesus Christ, the Son of God, despise mar- 
riage. He is himself born of woman, which is a 
high testimony to marriage." 

" We find an image of man-iage in all creatures, 
not only in birds, beasts, and fishes, but in trees and 
stones too. Every one knows that there are trees, 
like the apple and the pear tree, which are, as it 
were, husband and wife, which desiderate each 
other, and which thrive more when they are planted 
together. The same is observable of stones, espe- 
cially precious stones, such as the coral, emerald, 
and others. The sky, also, is the husband of the 
earth, vivifying it by the warmth of the sun, by the 
rain and the wind, and so leading it to bear all sorts 
of plants and fruits." 

The doctor's little children were standing before 
the table, anxiously watching the fishes that were 
being served up, when he remarked, — "If you 
wish to see the image of a soul in the fruition of 
hope, there it is. Ah ! would we could look forward 
to the life to come with the same delight." His 
littlegirl, Madeleine, being brought in to sing to her 
cousin the song beginning. The pope invokes the em- 
peror and the kings, &c., and refusing, notwith- 
standing coaxing and threats, the doctor said, 
" Nothing good comes of force : without grace, the 
works of the law are valueless." " I see nothing 
contradictory in the injunction, Sei've the Lord with 
fear and rejoice iclth trcmblhuj. My little John does 
so with regard to me, but I cannot with regard to 
God. When writing, or otherwise busied, he will 
begin a little song, and if he sing too loud, and I 
check him, he will go on, but to himself, and with 
a touch of fear. So God wishes us to be always 
cheerful, yet with awe and reserve." One new- 
year's day, he and his wife were exceedingly put 
out at being unable to still the baby, who kept on 
screaming more than an hour ; at last, he said, 
" These are the vexations of married life. . . . 
This is the reason none of the Fathers has written 
any thing remarkably good on the subject. Jerome 
has S|)oken degradingly, I should almost say in an 
anti-Christian spirit, of marriage. ... St. Augus- 
tin on the contrary." , . . His wife placing his 
youngest child in his arms, he observed, " Would I 
had died at this age ; willingly would I forego any 
honour I may obtain in this world to die an in- 
fant !" The child dirtying him, he said, " Oh ! 
how much more must our Lord endure with us 
than a mother with her child." He addressed his 
baby with, " Thou art our Lord's innocent little 
fool, living under grace and not under the law. 
Thou art without fear or anxiety, and all that thou 
doest is well done." " Children are the hapiiiest. 
We old fools are ever distressing ourselves with 
disputes about the word, constantly asking our- 
selves, ' Is it true ? Is it possible ? How can it 
be possible V Ciiildren, in their pure and guile- 
less faith, have no doubts on matters appertaining 
to salvation. . . . Like them, we ought to trust for 
salvation to the simple word ; but the devil is 
ever tlirowing some stumbling-block in oiu' way." 
Another time, as his wife was giving the breast to 

his little Martin, he said, " The pope and duke 
George hate this child, and all belonging to me, as 
do their partizans and the devil. However, they 
give no uneasiness to the dear child, and he does not 
concern himself what such powerful enemies may do. 
He sticks to the teat, or crows laughingly aloud, 
and leaves them to grumble their fill." One day, 
that Spalatln and Lenhart Beier, pastor of Zwickau, 
were with him, he pointed to his little Martin 
playing with a doll, and said, " Even such were 
man's thoughts in Paradise, simple, innocent, and 
free from malice or hypocrisy ; he must have been 
like this child when he speaks of God and is so 
sure of him. What must have been Abraham's 
feelings when he consented to offer up his only 
son ! He said nothing of it to Sarah ; he could 
not ! Of a verity, I should dispute God's com- 
mands were he to order me such a thing." On 
this, the doctor's wife broke in with, " I will not 
believe that God can ask any one to kill his own 

" Ah ! how my heart sighed after mine own, when 
I lay sick to death at Smalkalde. I thought that 
I should never more see my wife or little ones; 
and how agonizing was the thought ! . . . . There 
is no one who can so overcome the flesh, as not to 
feel this bent of nature. Great is the force of the 
social tie which knits man and wife together." 

It is touching to see how each thing that at- 
tracted his notice led Luther to pious reflections 
on the goodness of God, on the state of man before 
the fall, and on the life to come; as, on Dr. Jonas 
laying on his table a fine bough laden with cherries, 
his wife's delight on serving up a dish of fish from 
their own pond, the mere sight of a rose, &c. . . . 
On the 9th of April, 1539, as the doctor was in 
his garden, gazing attentively at the trees, resplen- 
dent with flowers and foliage, he exclaimed with 
admiration, " Glory be to God, who thus calls to 
life inanimate creation in tlie spring. Look at 
those graceful branches, already big with fruit. 
Fine image this of man's resurrection : winter is 
death ; summer the resurrection !" After a violent 
storm on the evening of the 18th of April, 1539, 
followed by a kindly rain, which restored the ver- 
dure of the fields and trees, he exclaimed, looking 
up to heaven, " This is thy gift, O my God, and to 
us ingrates, full of wickedness and covetousness. 
Thou art a God of goodness ! This was no work 
of Satan's; no, 'twas a beneficent thunder, shaking 
the earth, and opening it to make it bear its fruits 
and spread a perfume similar to that diffused by 
the prayer of the pious Christian." Another day, 
walking on the Leipsic road, and seeing the whole 
plain covered with the finest wheat, Luther ex- 
claimed, with exceeding fervour, " God of good- 
ness, this fruitful year is thy gift! Not for our 
piety is this, but to glorify thy holy name. Grant, 
O my God, that we may amend our lives and in- 
crease in thy Word! With thee all is miracle. 
Thy voice brings out of the earth, and even out of 
the arid sand, those plants and those beauteous 
ears of wheat which gladden the sight. O, my 
Father, give all thy children their daily bread !" 
One evening, noticing a little bird perched on a 
tree as if to take up its roost for the night, he said, 
" This little thing has chosen its shelter, and is 
going peacefully to sleep ; it does not disturb itself 
with thoughts of where it shall rest to-morrow, 
but composes itself tranquilly on its little branch, 

A.D. 1530—1546. 



and leaves God to think for it." Towards evening, 
two birds began to build their nest in the doctor's 
garden, but were frequently disturbed by the 
passers by: "Ah!" he exclaimed, "dear little 
birds, don't fly away; 1 wish you well with all my 
heart, if you would only believe me ! Even so 
we refuse to trust in God, who, far from wishing 
our harm, has given his own Son for us." 



Doctor Martin Luther had written with chalk on 
the wall, behind his stove, the following woi-ds: — 
" He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful 
also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is 
unjust also in much." (Luke xvi. 10.) " The little 
infant Jesus (he showed him painted on the wall) 
is sleeping in the arms of Mary, his mother. He 
will awake one day, and demand an account of what 
we have done." One day that Dr. Jonas was by, 
whilst Luther was being shaved, the latter said to 
him : " Original sin is within us, like the beard. We 
take it off to-day, and have a smooth face; to-mor- 
row, it is grown again, and it will not cease growing 
whilst we live. Just so, original sin cannot be ex- 
tirpated in us; but springs up our life long. Never- 
theless, we ought to resist it with all our strength, 
and cut it off without delay." " Human nature is 
so corrupt as not even to feel a want of heavenly 
things. It is like a new-born child, to whom one 
would promise in vain all the treasures and plea- 
sures the earth yields ; the child is without a 
thought, and knows but its mother's breast. In 
like manner, when the Gospel speaks to us of 
eternal life through Christ Jesus, we turn a deaf 
ear, harden om-selves in the flesh, and indulge in 
frivolous and perishable thoughts. Human nature 
does not comprehend, does not even feel, the mortal 
ill which weighs it down." " In divine things, the 
Father is the Grammar, for he imparts words, and 
is the source whence flow good, pure, and harmo- 
nious sayings. The Son is Loijio, and suggests ar- 
rangement, order, and sequence of ideas. The Holy 
Ghost is Rhetoric, states, presses home, enlarges, 
and gives life and strength, so as to impress and 
hold the hearers' hearts." " The Trinity occurs 
throughout creation. In the sun are substance, 
light, and heat ; in rivers, substance, cui-rent, 
and force. So, in the arts : in astronomy are 
motion, light, and influence; in music, the three 
notes, re, mi, fa, &c. The schoolmen have neg- 
lected these important signs for silly trifles." " The 
decalogue is the doctrine of doctrines ; the creed, the 
history of histories ; the Lord's prayer, the prayer of 
prayers ; the sacraments, the ceremonies of cere- 

On his being asked whether those who had lived 
in the darkness of popery, and had not known the 
blessing of the Gospel, could be saved ? Luther re- 
plied: " I know not, save, perhaps, through bap- 
tism. I have seen the cross held out to many 
monks, on their death-bed, as was then the custom, 
and they may have been saved by their faith in 
Christ's merits and sufferings." " Cicero is far 
superior in his moral doctrine to Aristotle, and 
was a wise and laborious man, who did and who 

suffered much. I hope that our Lord will be 
merciful unto him and all like unto him ; albeit it 
belongs not to us to speak with certainty. That 
God should not make exceptions and establish 
distinctions between pagans, is what one cannot 
say. There will be a new heaven and a new earth 
much larger and vaster than those of our day." 
Being asked whether the offended party ought to 
seek pardon of the offender, Luther replied, " No ; 
Jesus Christ himself has set us no example, and 
has left us no command of the kind. It is enough 
to pardon offences in one's heart ; and publicly, if 
convenient, and prayed so to do. I, indeed, once 
went to ask pardon of two persons who had offended 
me, but they happened to be from home ; and 
I now thank God that I was not allowed to execute 
my purpose." Sighing one day at the thought of 
the sectaries who despised God's word, " Ah !" 
he exclaimed, " were I a great poet, I would write 
a magnificent poem on the utility and efficacy of the 
divine word. Without it. . . . For many years 
I have read the Bible twice a year; 'tis a great and 
mighty tree, each word of which is a branch. 1 
have shaken them all, so curious was I to know 
what each branch bore, and each time I have 
shaken off a couple of pears or apples." " For- 
merly, under papal rules, men used to go on pil- 
grimages to the saints, to Rome, to Jerusalem, to 
St. James of Compostella, to expiate their sins. 
Now we may make Christian pilgrimages in the 
faith. When we read attentively the prophets, the 
psalms, and the gospels, we peregrinate, not through 
the holy city, but through our thoughts and hearts, 
to God. That is visiting the true promised land, 
and the paradise of life eternal." " What are the 
saints compared with Christ ? Nothing more than 
small drops of night-dew on the beard of the 
bridegroom and in the curls of his hair." 

Luther did not like the miracles to be dwelt 
upon, considering this kind of proof as secondary. 
" The convincing proofs are in God's word. Our 
opponents read the translated Bible much more 
than we. I believe that duke George has read it 
more carefully than all the nobles on our side 
together. ' Provided,' I hear he has said, ' pro- 
vided the monk have finished the translation of 
the Bible, he may be off when he likes.' " He 
used to say that Melanchthon had forced him to 
translate the New Testament. 

" Let our adversaries fume and rage. God has 
not opposed a wall of stone or a mountain of brass 
to the waves of the sea ; a bank of sand has been 

" In my early days, whilst a monk, I used to be 
fond of reading my Bible, but to no use ; I merely 
made Christ a Moses. Now I have found my 
beloved Christ. May I be thankful, and stedfast, 
and suffer for his sake what I may be called upon 
to suffer." " Why do we teach and keep the ten 
commandments ? The reason is, that nowhere is 
the natural law so well arranged and laid down as 
in Moses. I wish we had borrowed from him in 
temporal things as well : such as the laws with 
regard to the bill of divorcement, the jubilee, the 
year of release, tithes, &c., the world would be 
all the better governed. . . . So, the Romans took 
their Twelve Tables from the Greeks. ... As 
regards the Sabbath or Sunday, there is no neces- 
sity for keeping it ; but if we do, it ought to be, 
not on account of Moses' commandment, but be- 



A.D. 1530—1546. 

cause nature teaches us from time to time to take 
a day of rest, in order that men and animals may 
recruit their strength, and that we may attend the 
preaching of God's word. Since there is now-a- 
days a general movement towards restoring all 
things, as if the day of the universal restoration 
were come, it has come into my head to try 
whether Moses also cannot be restored, and the 
rivers recalled to their source. I have taken care 
to treat every subject in the simplest fashion, and 
to avoid mystical interpretations as they are called. 
. . . I see no other reason for God's choosing to 
form the Jewish people by these ceremonies, than 
his knowledge of their aptness to be caught by 
externals. To prevent these being empty phan- 
toms and mere images, he added his word to give 
them weight and substance, and render them grave 
and serious matters. I have subjoined to each 
chapter brief allegories ; not that I set much store 
by them, but to anticipate the mania many have 
for allegorical writing ; as we perceive in Jerome, 
Origen, and other ancient writers an unfortunate 
and sterile habit of devising allegories to recom- 
mend morality and works, whereas it is the word 
and faith that ought to be insisted on." (April, 

" My prayer is the Pater Noster ; and I am in 
the habit of blending with it something from the 
Psalms, in order to confound false teachers, and 
cover them with shame. There is no prayer com- 
parable to the Pater ; I prefer it to any Psalm *." 
" I frankly own that I know not whether or no I 
am master of the full meaning of the Psalms ; 
although I have no doubts about my giving their 
correct sense. One man will be mistaken in some 
passages ; another, in others. I see things which 
Augustin overlooked ; and otliers, I am aware, 
will see things which I miss. Who will dare to 
assert that he has completely understood a single 
Psalm 1 Our life is a beginning and a pi'ogress ; 
not a consummation. He is the best, who comes 
nearest to the Spirit. There are stages in life and 
action, why not in understanding ? The apostle says, 
that we proceed from knowledge to knowledge." 

Of the New Testament. " The Gospel of St. John 
is the true and pure Gospel, the principal Gospel, 
because it contains more of Jesus Christ's own 
words than the rest. In like mannei', the Epistles 
of St. Paul and St. Peter, are far above (?) the 
Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke. 
In fine, St. John's Gospel and his First Epistle, St. 
Paul's Epistles, especially those to the Romans, 
Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter's First 
Epistle, are the books which show thee Jesus 
Christ, and which teach thee all that it is necessary 
and useful for thee to know, though thou wert 
never to see any other book." He did not con- 
sider either the Epistle to the Hebrews or the 
Epistle of St. James of apostolical authority. He 
says of that of St. Jude : " No one can deny that 
this Epistle is an extract from or copy of the 
Second of St. Peter ; the words are almost identi- 
cal. Jude speaks of the apostles as if he had been 
their disciple, and that they were dead ; and he 
cites texts and events nowhere to be found in 

Luther's opinion on the Apocalypse is remark- 
able : " Every one," he says, " must form his own 
judgment on this woi'k according to his lights and 
* So says Montaigne in his Essays. 

gifts. I do not wish to force my opinion on any 
one, but simply speak as I think. I look upon it 
as being neither apostolic nor prophetic." . . And, 
in another passage, " Many of the fathers have re- 
jected this book ; and it is free to all to think of it 
as they shall be moved. For my own part, I can- 
not take to this work. One reason alone would 
give me a distaste to it ; which is, that Jesus 
Christ is neither adored nor preached in it such as 
we know him." 

Of the Fathe7-s. " You may read Jerome for the 
sake of the history ; of faith, good true religion, and 
doctrine, there is not a word in his works. I have 
ah'eady proscribed Origen. Chrysostom is no au- 
thority with me. Basil is but a monk ; I would 
not give a straw for him. Melanchthon's Apology is 
beyond the writings of all the doctors of the Church, 
not excepting Augustin ; Hilary and Theophylact 
are good, Ambrose also ; he walks steadily as to the 
most essential article, the pardon of sins. Bernard, 
as a preacher, eclipses all the doctors; in argu- 
ment, he is quite another man, and grants too 
much to the law and to fi'ee-will. Bonaventura is 
tlie best of the scholastic theologians. Amongst the 
fathers, Augustin holds, incontestably, the first 
place; Ambrose, the second; Bernard, the third. 
Tertullian is a true Carlstadt. Cyril has the finest 
sentences. Cyprian the martyr, is a poor theolo- 
gian. Theophylact is the best interpreter of St. 
Paul." — (Arguments to prove that antiquity does 
not add to authority) : " We see how bitterly St. 
Paul complains of the Corinthians and Galatians; 
even amongst the apostles, Christ found a traitor 
in Judas.'' " There is never anything conclusive in 
the writings of the Fathers on the Bible; they leave 
the reader suspended betwixt heaven and earth. 
Read Chrysostom, the best rhetoi'ician, and speaker 
of all." He observes, that the Fathers said nothing 
of justification by grace during their life, but be- 
lieved in it at their death. " This was more prudent, 
in order not to encourage mysticism or discourage 
good works. The dear Fathers have lived better 
than they have written." He eulogises the history 
of St. Epiphanius, and the poems of Prudentius. 
" Of all, Augustin and Hilary have written with 
most clearness and ti'uth ; the rest must be read cum 
judicio (with allowance). Ambrose was mixed up 
with worldly matters, as I am now; being obliged 
to busy myself in the consistory with marriage 
matters, more than with God's word. . . . Bona- 
ventura has been called the seraphic ; Thomas, the 
angelic ; Scot, the subtle ; Martin Luther will be 
named the arch-heretic." Observing a portrait of 
St. Augustin in a book, representing him with a 
monk's cowl, Luther remarked, " They do the holy 
man wrong, for he lived just as the world about 
him, and used silver spoons and cups, not even se- 
cluding himself like the monks.'' " Macarius, An- 
tony, and Benedict have done the Church great 
and signal injury with their monkery ; and I think 
they will be placed much lower in heaven than a 
pious, God-fearing citizen, father of a family. St. 
Augustin pleases me more than all the rest. The 
doctrine he teaches is pure, and regulated with 
Christian humility, by Holy Scripture. Augustin 
is favourable to marriage. He speaks well of the 
bishops who were the pastors of his day ; but years, 
and his disputes with the Pelagians, embittered and 
distressed him at the last. . . Had he witnessed the 
scandals of the papacy, he certainly would not have 



allowed them. He is the first Father of the Church 
who wrote ou the subject of original sin." After 
having spoken of St. Augustin, Luther adds, " But 
since God has given me grace to understand Paul, 
I have not ■ been able to relish any doctors ; they 
have all become dwarfs m my eyes." " I know 
none of the Fathers whom I so much dislike as St. 
Jerome. He writes only on fasting, diet, virginity, 
&c., not a word on faith. Dr. Staupitz was wont 
to say, ' I should like to know how Jerome could 
be saved.' " 

" The nominalists are a sect of the upper schools 
to which I used to belong; they are opposed to the 
Thomists, Scotists, and Albertists. The name they 
give themselves is Occamists. They are the newest 
sect of all, and, at present, the most powerful, es- 
pecially at Paris." Luther thinks highly of Peter 
Lombard's Master of Sentences ; but considers that 
the schoolmen in general laid too much stress on 
free-will and too little on gi-ace. " Gersou alone, 
of all the doctors, has made mention of spiritual 
temptations. All the rest, Gregory of Nazianzen, 
Augustin, Scotus, Thomas, Ricliard, Occam, were 
conscious of corporal temptations only. Gerson 
alone has written of discoui-agement. The Church, 
in propoi'tion to her advancing years, cannot but 
experience spiritual temptations of the kind; and 
we live in this age of the Church. William of 
Paris, too, felt such temptations iu a degree; but 
the schoolmen never attained the knowledge of the 
catechism. Gerson is the only one who reassures 
and revives consciences. . . . He has saved many 
poor souls from despair by lessening and extenuat- 
ing the law, yet, so as that the law shall remain. 
But Christ does not tap the cask, he breaks it in. 
He says, ' Thou must not trust in the law, nor rely 
upon it, but upon me, upon Christ. If thou art 
not good, I am.' " " Dr. Staupitz one day speaking 
to me of Andrew Zachary, who is said to have 
overcome John Huss in disputation, told me that 
Dr. Proles of Gotha seeing a portrait of Zachary, 
in which he was represented with a rose in his 
bonnet, exclaimed, ' God defend me from ever 
wearing such a rose, for he overcame John Huss 
by a trick, by means of a falsified Bible. You will 
find in the thirty-fourth of Ezekiel, Behold, I 
myself will visit and punish my shepherds * ; to which 
they had added, ' and not the people.' The mem- 
bers of the council showed him the text in his 
own Bible, which had been falsified as well as 
the rest, and then drew the conclusion, it is not 
your business to punish the pope, as God takes it 
upon himself. And so the holy man was con- 
demned and burnt.' " " Master John Agricola 
reading one of John Huss's works, full of spirit, 
of resignation, and of fervour, in which you saw 
how in his prison he suffered martyrdom from 
the stone, and was exposed to the rebukes of the 
emperor Sigismund, Dr. Luther admired such 

spirit and courage It is most unjust," he 

exclaimed, " to call John Huss and me heretics. . . 
John Huss died, not as an anabaptist, but as a 
Christian. We discern Christian weakness in him ; 
but, at the same time, strength from God arouses 
his soul and buoys him up. It is sweet and touch- 
ing to see the struggle betwixt the flesh and the 
spirit in Christ and in Huss Constance is at 

• In our version, " Behold, I am against the shepherd.s, 
and I will require my flock at their hands . . . that they 
may not be meat for them." 

the present day a poor, wretched city. God, I 
opine, has chastised it. . . . John Huss was burnt; 
and I, too, with God's will, believe that I shall be 
put to death. He rooted out some thorns from 
Christ's vineyard by only attacking the scandals 
of the papacy. But I, Dr. Martin Luther, coming 
into a richly-soiled and well-tilled field, have at- 
tacked the pope's doctrine and overthrown it. . . . 
John Huss was the seed which had to be harrowed 
in the earth and die, to spring up afterwards and 
grow with renewed strength. . ." 

One day Luther improvised at table the follow- 
ing verse: — 

" Pestis erani vivens, moriens ero mors tua, Papa*." 

"-^ " The head of antichrist is at once the pope and 
the Turk. The pope is antichrist's spirit, the Turk 
the flesh." 

" It is my poor and humble state (not to speak 
of the justice of my cause) which has been the 
pope's misfortune. ' If,' he said to himself, ' I have 
defended my doctrine against so many kings and 
emperors, why should I fear a simple monk V Had 
he looked upon me as a dangerous enemy, he 
might have crushed me at the outset. ... I con- 
fess that I have often been too violent, but not 
with regard to the papacy. One ought to have a 
language on purpose to use against it, every word 
of which should be a thunderbolt. . . . The papists 
are confounded and conquered by the testimonies of 
Scripture. Thank God I know their error under 
its every aspect, from the alpha to the omega. Yet, 
even now, when they confess the Scriptures to be 
against them, the splendour and majesty of the 
pope sometimes dazzle me, and I attack him with 
trembling. . . . The pope said to himself, ' Shall I 
give way to a monk, who seeks to despoil me 
of my crown and my majesty ? A fool if I do !' 
I would give both my hands to believe as firmly, as 
surely in Jesus Christ, as the pope believes Jesus 
Christ to be nothing. . . . Others, as Erasmus and 
John Huss, have attacked the morals of the popes. 
But I have pulled down the two pillars on which 
the popedom rested — vows and private masses." 

Of Councils. " Councils are not for the ordering 
of faith, but of discipline." 

Dr. Martin Luther raised his eyes one day to 
heaven, sighed, and exclaimed, " Ah ! for a general, 
free, and truly Christian council ! God can do it ; 
'tis his business ; he knows and holds in his hand 
the inmost thoughts of men." 

" When Peter Paul Vergerius, the pope's legate, 
came to Wittemberg in the year 1533, and that I 
called upon him, he cited and summoned me to ap- 
pear at the council. ' I will,' I said, adding, ' As 
for you papists, you labour in vain. If you hold a 
council, you do not take mto consideration the 
sacraments, justification by faith, good works, but 
only babbling and childish matters, such as the 
length of robes, the width of priests' girdles, &c.' 
He turned away from me, leant his head on his 
hand, and said to a person with him, ' Of a truth 
this man goes to the I'oot of the matter."' It 
being asked when the pope would convene a coun- 
cil ? " There will be none," said Luther, "before 
the last day, and then our Lord God will himself 
hold a council." Luther's advice was, not to 

* "Pope, I was thy plague living; dying, I shall be thy 



A.D. 1530—1546. 

refuse attending a council, but to require it to be 
free. " If this be denied, we cannot have a better 

Of Ecclesiastical Property. Luther wished it to 
be applied to the support of schools, and poor theo- 
logical students. He deplores the spoliation of the 
churches, and predicts that princes will soon 
quarrel for the spoil. " The pope is now lavishing 
ecclesiastical property on catholic princes, in order 
to buy friends and allies. ... It is not so much 
our princes of the confession of Augsburg who 
pillage the church, as Ferdinand, the emperor, and 
the archbishop of Mentz. The Bavarians, who 
have rich abbeys, are the greatest robbers. My 
gracious lord and the landgrave have only poor 
monasteries of mendicant monks in their territories. 
At the diet, it was proposed to place the monas- 
teries at the disposal of the emperor, who would 
have garrisoned them. I said, ' You must first 
hrinxf all the monasteries together into one spot. Who 
would suffer the emperorh officers in his territories ? ' 
The archbishop of Mentz was the instigator of the 
proposition." In answer to a letter of the king of 
Denmark's, asking for his advice, Luther disap- 
proves of the annexation of church property to the 
crown. "Look," he says, "at our prince, John 
Frederick, how he applies the property of the 
church to the support of pastors and pi'ofessors." 
" The proverb is in the right, ' Priests' goods do no 
good.' {pfaffenijut raffemjut.) Burchard Hund, coun- 
cillor to John, elector of Saxony, was wont to say, 
' We nobles have annexed church lands to our 
fiefs, and the church lands have devoured our fiefs, 
so that we now have neither the one nor the 
other.' " Luther adds the fable of the fox, who 
revenges the loss of his cubs by burning down the 
tree, with the eagle's nest and eaglets in it. An 
old tutor of Ferdinand's son (king of the Romans), 
named Severus, was telling Luther the story of the 
dog that fought for his piece of meat, yet took his 
share of it, when the other dogs snatched it from 
him. " Exactly what the emperor is now doing," 
exclaimed Luther, " with the estates of the church." 
(Alluding to Utrecht and Liege.) 

Of Cardinals and Bishops. " In Italy, France, 
England, and Spain, the bishops are commonly the 
royal councillors, the reason being, that they are 
poor. But in Germany, where they are rich, 
powerful, and enjoy great consideration, the bishops 
govern in their own name. ... I shall strive to 
the utmost to preserve the canonries and small 
bishoprics, so as to endow out of their revenues 
preachers and pastors for the towns. The large 
bishoprics shall be secularised." Dining with the 
elector of Saxony on Ascension-day, and it having 
been settled that the bishops were to preserve their 
authoi'ity, provided they abjured the pope, Luther 
said, " Our people shall examine them, and shall 
ordain them by imposition of hands. This is the 
way I am bishop." The origin of monks being 
stai'ted in the disputations at Heidelberg, the 
reply was, " God having made priests, the devil 
wished to imitate him, but made the tonsure 
too great, and thence monks." "Monkery will 
never be re-established so long as the doctrine of 
justification shall be understood in its pui'ity." 
Monks were formerly so highly esteemed, that the 
pope feared them more than kings and bishops ; 
for they had the common people in their hands. 
The monks were the pope's best fowlers. The 

king of England gains nothing by no longer recog- 
nizing the pope as the head of Christendom ; he 
only torments the body, whilst strengthening the 
soul of the papacy." (Henry VIII. had not yet 
suppressed the monasteries.) 



" Schools ought to supply pastors, for edification 
and the support of the church. Schools and pas- 
tors are better than councils." 

" I hope, if the world goes on, that the univer- 
sities of Erfurth and Leipsic will revive and flou- 
rish, provided they adopt sound views of theology, 
as they seem disposed to do ; but some will have 
to go to sleep first. I was at first surprised that a 
university should have been established here, at 
Wittemberg. Erfurth is excellently situated for 
the purpose. There must be a town on the spot, 
even though the present, which God foi'bid, should 
be burnt down. This university was formerly so 
renowned, that all others were considered only 
small schools in comparison. But now its glories 
have disappeared, and it is altogether dead." 
" Masters were formerly put forward and honoured; 
torches used to be borne before them. Never was 
joy in the world comparable to that. Taking a 
doctor's degree was also made a high festival of ; 
one paraded roxmd the town on horseback, and 
dressed oneself more carefully and ostentatiously 
than usual. All that is over ; but I wish these 
good customs were revived." "Wo to Germany, 
who neglects schools, despises them, and allows 
them to go to decay ! Wo to the archbishop of 
Mentz and Erfurth, who might with a word resus- 
citate the universities of those two cities, and who 
leaves them desolate and deserted ! One nook of 
Germany, that in which we are, still, thanks to 
God, flourishes in purity of doctrine and culture of 
the liberal arts. The papists will be for rebuilding 
the fold, when the wolf shall have eaten the sheep. 
It is the bishop of Mentz's fault, who is a scourge 
to schools, and all Germany ; and so is he justly 
punished for it. His face is the hue of death, like 
clay tempered with blood." 

" The most celebrated and best school is at 
Paris, in France. It has twenty thousand stu- 
dents and upwards. The theologians there have 
the pleasantest spot in the whole city ; being a 
street to themselves, with gates at each end : it is 
called the Sorbonne, a name derived, I fancy, from 
the fruit of the service tree (Sorhus), which grows 
by the Dead Sea, and which, beautiful without, ai'e 
only ashes within. Even so the University of 
Paris shows a goodly multitude, but is the mother 
of many errors. In disputing, they bawl like 
drunken peasants, in Latin and in French ; so that 
the auditors are obliged to stamp with their feet 
to silence them. Before one can take one's de- 
gree as doctor of theology, one is obliged to have 
been a student of their sophistical and futile logic 
for ten years. The respondent must sit a whole 
day, and dispute with every comer, from six in the 
morning to six in the evening." " At Bourges, in 
France, at the public creation of doctors in theo- 
logy, which takes place in the metropolitan church 
there, each doctor has a net given him ; as a sign, 

A.D. 1530— 154G. 



seemingly, that their business is to catch men." 
" We, thanks to God, have universities wliieh have 
embraced tlie woi-d of God, and many excellent pri- 
vate schools besides, which display good dispositions, 
as those at Zwickau, Torgau, Wittemberg, Gotha, 
Eisenach, Deveuter, &c." 

Extract from Luther^s Treatise on Education. "Do- 
mestic education is insufficient. The magistracy 
ought to superintend the education of the young, 
and the establishment of schools is one of their 
chief duties. Public offices, too, should only be 
entrusted to the most learned. So important is the 
study of tongues, that the devil fears it, and 
seeks to extinguish it. Is it not through this study 
that we have re-discovered the true doctrine ? The 
first thing Christ gave to his apostles was the gift of 
tongues." Luther complains that Latin is no 
longer known in the monasteries, and hardly Gei'- 
man. " For my own part, if I ever have children, 
and my fortune permits it, I will make them mas- 
ters of tongues, and of history, and have them 
taught music and mathematics as well ;" on this 
he branches forth into a eulogium on poets and 
historians. " Children should at least be sent, an 
hour or two daily to school ; and the rest of their 
time be employed in the house, or in learning some 
trade." " There ought to be schools for girls like- 
wise." " Public libraries ought to be established, 
and furnished at first with theological works, in 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and German ; next, with 
books to form the style, as the orators and poets, it 
matters not whether they be Christian or pagan ; 
then works on the liberal and mechanical arts ; 
legal and medical works ; then, annals, chronicles, 
and histories, iu the languages in which they were 
written ; these are the works which should hold 
the first place in a library." 

Of Languages. " The Greeks, compared with the 
Hebrews, have a number of good and pleasing 
words, but have no sentences. The Hebrew lan- 
guage is the richer; it does not beg, as Greek, Latin, 
and German do ; and is not forced to recur to 
compound words. The Hebrews drink at the 
source; the Greeks from the stream; the Latins 
from the bog." " I have little facility in Latin, 
brought up as I was in the barbarism of scholastic 
teaching." (Nov. 12th, 1544.) " 1 follow no par- 
ticular dialect of German; but use the common 
tongue, so as to be understood in Upper and 
Lower Germany. I model myself on the usage of 
the chancery court of Saxony, which is followed by 
all in Germany, in their public acts, whether kings, 
princes, or imperial cities, so that it has become 
the general tongue. Thus the emperor Maximilian 
and the elector Frederic of Saxony have reduced 
the German dialects to one fixed tongue. The 
language of the Marches is still sweeter than that 
of Saxony." 

Of G-raimnars. " Grammar is one thing, the 
Hebrew language another. The Jews have, for 
the most part, lost the Hebrew language and 
positive grammar, which have declined with their 
state itself and with their understanding, as Isaiah 
says (ch. xxix.) The rabbis are no authority in 
saci'ed matters; they torture and do violence to 
etymology and construction, because they desire to 
force the matter by the words, to subject it to the 
words; whereas it is the matter which ought to 
command them. You see similar disputes between 
the Ciceronians and other Latinists. For my part, 

I am neither Latinist nor grammarian, still less 
Ciceronian; yet side with those who lay claim to 
the latter title. And so, in sacred literature, I 
would prefer being simply Mosaic, Davidie, or 
Isaiahic, to being a Hebrew Kimchi, or like any 
other rabbi." (a.d. 1537.) " I regret not having 
more time to devote to the study of poets and i-he- 
toricians; I had bought a Homer in order to become 
Greek." (March 29th, 1523.) " If I were to write 
a treatise on logic, I would reject every foreign 
word, as propositio, si/Uogismvs,euthi/mema, exemjjlum, 
&c., and give them German synonyms. . . . They 
who introduce new words ought also to introduce 
new things, as Scot with his realiti/, his hiccity ; 
and as the Anabaptists and preachers of sedition 
with their Besprengung, Entgrohitng, Gelassenheit. 
Let us beware, then, of all who study to devise 
new and unusual words." Luther cited the fable 
of the lion's court, and said, " That after the Bible, 
he knew no better books than ^sop's fables and 
Cato's works, and that Donatus seemed to him the 
best grammarian. These fables are not the work of 
any one man; many great minds have devoted 
themselves to their composition at each epoch of 
the world." 

Of Men of Learning. " In a few years, they will 
not be to be found. You may dig to unearth 
them, but to no purpose ; God is too much sinned 

To a Friend. " Do not give in to the fear of 
Germany's becoming more barbarous than ever, 
by the discredit into which letters will be brought 
by our theology." (March 29th, 1523.) 




Of Tlieatrical Representations. Luther does not 
blame a schoolmaster for getting up Terence's 
plays. He recapitulates the various advantages 
derivable from the drama. If you keep away i 
from plays because they treat of love, you must on 
the same principle fear reading the Bible. " Our 
dear Joachim has asked me for my opinion on 
those plays from sacred story, which many of our 
ministers blame. Briefly, then, here it is. The 
command is, that all men are to spread and propa- 
gate God's word, by all means; not by preaching 
only, but by writings, paintings, sculptui*e, psalms, 
songs, music ; for, as the Psalm says, ' Praise him 
with the timbrel and dance : praise him with stringed 
instruments and organs.^ And Moses says, . . .'and 
ye shall bind them for a sigti upon your hand, that 
tJiey may be as frontlets between your eyes. , . . and 
thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thine 
house, and upon thy gates.' Moses wishes the word 
to^ be a frontlet between the eyes, and how can that 
be done better and more clearly than by repre- 
sentations of the kind, grave and modest ones, and 
not by farces, as formerly, under the papacj' ? 
Spectacles of this nature take the eyes of the 
people, and work upon them frequently much 
more than public preachings. I know that in 
Lower Germany, where the public profession of 
the Gospel is prohibited, dramas, drawn from the 
Law and the Gospel, have converted numbers," 
(April 5th, 1543.) 




A.D. 1530— 154C. 

Of Music. " Music is one of the finest and most 
magnificent of God's gifts. Satan hates it. It 
dispels temptations and evil thoughts ; the devil 
cannot hold out against it. . . Some of the nobility 
and of the courtiers think that my gracious lord 
might spare three thousand florins a year for 
music ; thirty thousand are expended on useless 
matters." " Duke George, the landgrave of Hesse, 
and John Frederick, elector of Saxony, used to 
keep singers and musicians : now it is the duke of 
Bavaria, the emperor Ferdinand, and the emperor 
Charles who do so." Luther being entertained 
(Dec. 17th, 1538) in the house of a musical family, 
who played to him to his great delight, he bursts 
out with, " If our Lord grants us such noble gifts 
in this life, which is but filth and misery, what 
will it be in the life everlasting ? This is a fore- 
taste." " Singing is the best exercise ; it has no 
concern with the word. . . . Therefore do I re- 
joice that God has refused to the peasants {alhding, 
no doubt, to the peasants in revolt) so great a gift 
and comfort. They do not understand music, and 
listen not to the word." He one day said to a 
harp-player, "My friend, play me such an air as 
David used to play. Were he to return to earth, 
I think he would be surprised to find such skilful 
players." " How happens it that we have now-a- 
days so many fine things of a worldly kind, and 
nothing but what is cold and indifferent of a 
spiritual (and he repeated some German songs) ? 
I cannot agree with those who despise music, 
as do all dreamers and mystics." "... I will ask 
the prince to devote this money to the establish- 
ment of a musical academy." (April, 1541.) 

On the 4th of October, 1530, he writes to Ludovic 
Senfel, a musician of the court of Bavaria, to ask 
him to set the In pace in id tpsum to music: " The 
love of music overpowers my fear of being refused, 
when you shall see a name which, no doubt, you 
hate. This same love also gives me the hope that 
my letters will involve you in no disagreeables. 
Who could reproach you on their account, even 
wei-e he a Turk ? . . . After theology, no art can 
be compared with music." Luther, introducing a 
painter named Sebastian to his friend Amsdorf, 
says: " I know not whether you want his services. 
I sliould like, however, to see your dwelling more 
tasteful and ornamented, on account of the flesh, 
which is the better for some recreation, provided it 
be sinless and unobjectionable." (Feb. 6th, 1542.) 

Of Painting. — Luther's pamphlets against the 
pope were seldom published without symbolic en- 
gravings. " As for three furies," he says, in 
explanation of one of these satirical engravings, 
" I had nothing else in my mind, when I applied 
them to the pope, than to express the atrocity of 
the papal abomination by these, the most forcible 
and most revolting figures known to the Latin 
tongue ; for the Latins know not what Satan or 
the devil is, any more than the Greeks and other 
nations." (May 8th, 1545.) Lucas Cranach was 
the designer of these figures. Luther says : "Mas- 
ter Lueas has little delicacy of feeling ; he might 
have spared the other sex, in consideration of our 
mothers and of God's work; and he might have 
painted other forms, worthier of the pope, I 
meati more diabolical." (June 3rd, 1545.) " I will 
do my utmost, if I live, to make Lucas substitute a 
more decent painting for this obscene one." (June 
I5th.) Luther pnjfessed great admiration for 

Albert Diirer; and, on hearing of his death, wrote: 
" It is painful, no doubt, to have lost him. Let 
us rejoice, however, that Christ has released him 
by so happy an end from this world of misery and 
of trouble, which soon, perhaps, will be desolated 
by greater troubles still. God has been unwilling 
to suff"er him, who was born for happiness, to see 
such calamities. May he rest in peace with his 
fathers!" (April, 1528.) 

Of Astronomy and Astrology. — " It is true that 
astrologers may predict the future to the ungodly, 
and announce the death which awaits them, for the 
devil knows the thoughts of the ungodly, and has 
them in his power." Mention being made of a 
new asti'onomer, who was for proving that it is the 
earth that revolves, and not the firmament, the sun, 
and the moon; it being the same, he said, with us 
as with men in a carriage or a ship, who think they 
see the shore and the trees moving past them*, 
Luther observed: "So it is with the world now-a- 
days; men, to be thought clever, won't content 
themselves with what others do and know. The 
fool wishes to change the whole art of astronomy ; 
but, as holy Scripture saith, Joshua commanded the 
sun, not the earth, to stand still." " Astrologers 
are in the wrong in attributing to stars the evil in- 
fluences which proceed from comets." " Master 
Philip (Melanchthon) has often tried, but could 
never make me a believer in the art. He maintains 
it to be a real art; but that no professor of it is an 
adept." A nativity being shown him, Luther 
said: " It is a beautiful and pleasing fancy, and 
flattering to the understanding. You proceed re- 
gularly from one line to the other. ... It is with 
astrology as with the art of the sophists, de decern 
proedicamentis realiter distinctis ; all is false and ar- 
tificial: but, in this vain and factitious science, there 
is an admirable unity, and, notwithstanding the 
lapse of ages, and the diversity of sects that have 
arisen — Thomists, Albertists, Scotists — its follow- 
ers have remained faithful to the same rules." 
" Sciences which have matter for their object are 
uncertain ; for matter is without form, and is withou t 
qualities and properties. Now, astrology has matter 
for its object, &c." " The astrologers had predicted 
that there would be a deluge in 1524, and it did 
not take place until the following year, the epoch of 
the revolt of the peasants. Burgomaster Hendorf, 
however, had a quart of beer taken up to the top of 
his house, to wait for the deluge there." Master 
Philip said that tiie emperor Charles would live to 
be eighty-four. Dr. Luther replied: " The world 
will not last so long. Ezekiel is against it. If we 
drive out the Turk the prophecy of Daniel is ful- 
filled; and, of a certainty, the day of judgment is 
then at hand." A large red star, which had aji- 
peared in the sky, and which subsequently took the 
shape of a cross in 1516, appeared again, " but thi.s 
time," says Luthei", " the cross seemed to be broken, 
for the Gospel was obscured by sects and revolts. 
I see nothing certain in such signs; they are com- 
monly diabolical and deceitful. We have seen 
many in these fifteen latter years." 

Of Printing. " Printing is the best and highest 
gift, the summum et postremum donum, by which 
God advanceth the Gospel. It is the last flamy 
which shines before the extinction of the world. 
Thanks to God that it hath come at last. Holy 
fathers, now at rest, luxve desired to see this day of the 
* Alluding, no doubt, to Copernicus. 

A.D. 1530-154«. 



revealed Gospel." Being shown a writing of the 
Fuggers, in letters of fantastical shape, so that no 
one could read it, he said, " This is invented by 
able men, and men of forethought; but such an 
invention is the sign of a most corrupt age. We 
read that Julius Cassar employed similar letters. 
It is said that the emperor, instructing his secreta- 
ries, makes them write, on matters of importance, 
in two conti'adictoi-y mannex'S, and that they know 
not to which of the two he shall affix his seal." 

Of Banking. "A cardinal, bishop of Brixen, 
reputed very wealthy, having died at Rome, no 
money was found upon him, but only a small note 
in his sleeve. Pope Julius II., suspecting it to be 
a letter of change, sent instantly for the agent of the 
Fuggers at Rome, and inquired whether he knew 
the hand 1 ' Yes,' he replied, ' it is the acknow- 
ledgment of Fugger and Co. for three hundred thou- 
sand florins.' The pope asked him whether he 
could pay all this money ? ' Directly,' was the 
reply. The pope then sent for the French and 
English cardinals, and asked them whether their 
kings could raise three tons of gold in an hour ? 
They answered, ' No.' ' Well,' he said, ' a burgess 
of Augsburg can.' " " Fugger having one day to 
give in a return of his property to the council of 
Augsburg, told them that he could not say what he 
was worth, for that his money was out all over the 
world, in Turkey, Greece, Alexandria, France, 
Portugal, England, Poland, &c.; but that he could 
tell them what he had in Augsburg if they liked." 



"Oh! how I trembled when I had to ascend the 
pulpit for the first time ! But I was forced to 
preach, and to the brothers first of all. . . . Under 
this very pear-tree where we are now standing, I 
adduced fifteen arguments to Dr. Staupitz against 
my vocation for the pulpit : at last I said, ' Dr. 
Staupitz, you wish to kill me ; I shall not live three 
months,' He answered me, 'Well, our Lord has 
great business on hand above, and wants able 
men.'" " I set about collecting my works into 
volumes, with but little zeal and ardour ; I feel 
Saturn's hunger, and wish to devour all, for there 
are none of my books which please me, if I except 
the Treatise on the Bondage of the Will, and the Cate- 
chism." (July 9th, 1537.) " I do not like Philip to be 
pi'es3nt at my lectures or sermons; but I place the 
cross before me and say, ' Philip, Jonas, Pomer, 
and the rest, have nothing to do with the matter;' 
and then I endeavour to fancy that no one has sat 
in the pulpit abler myself." Dr. Jonas said 
to him, " Sir doctor, I cannot at all follow you in 
your preaching." Luther replied, " I cannot my- 
self ; for my subject is often suggested either by 
something personal, or some pi'ivate matter, ac- 
cording to times, circumstances, and hearers. 
Were I young, I should like to retrench many 
things in my sermons, for I have been too wordy." 
" I wish the people to be taught the Catechism 
well. I found myself upon it in all my sermons, 
and I preach as simply as possible. I want the 
common people, and children, and servants, to un- 
derstand me. I do not enter the pulpit for the sake 
of the learned ; they have my books." 

Dr. Erasmus Alberus, being about to leave for 
the March, asked Luther how he should preach 
before the prince. " Your sermons," said he, 
" ought to be addressed, not to princes, but to the 
rude and simple people. If, in mine, I was thinking 
of Melanchthon and the other doctors, I should do 
no good ; but I preach solely for the ignorant, and 
that pleases all. Hebrew, Greek, and Latin I 
spare until we learned ones come together ; and, 
then, ' we make it so curled and finical that God 
himself wondereth at us.' " " Albert Diirer, the 
famous painter of Nuremberg, used to say that he 
took no pleasure in paintings charged with colours, 
but in those of a less ambitious kind. I say the same 
of sermons." " Oh ! how happy should I have been 
when I was in the monastery of Erfurth, if I could 
once, but once, have heard but one poor Httle word 
pi-eached on the Gospel, or on the least of the 
Psalms." " Nothing is moi-e acceptable or more 
useful to the general run of hearers, than to preach 
the law and examples. Sermons on grace and on 
justification are cold to their ears." Amongst the 
qualities which Luther desiderates in a preacher, 
is a fine person, and that he be such as to make 
himself loved by good women and maidens. In his 
Treatise on Monastic Vows, Luther asks pardon of the 
reader for saying many things, which are usually 
passed over in silence. " Why not dare to say 
what the Holy Ghost, for the instruction of men, 
has dictated to Moses ? But we wish our ears to be 
purer than the mouth of the Holy Ghost." 

To J. Brentius. " I seek not to flatter or to de- 
ceive thee, and I do not deceive myself w hen I say, 
that I prefer thy writings to my own. It is not 
Brentius whom I praise, but the Holy Ghost, who 
is gentler and easier in thee. Thy words flow pure 
and limpid. My style, rude and unskilful, vomits 
forth a deluge, a chaos of words, boisterous and 
impetuous as a wrestler contending with a thousand 
successive monsters ; and, if I may presume to 
compare small things with great, methinks there 
has been vouchsafed me a portion of the four-fold 
spirit of Elijah, rapid as the wind and devouring 
as fire, which I'oots up mountains and dashes rocks 
to pieces ; and to thee, on the contrary, the mild 
murmur of the light and refreshing breeze. I feel, 
however, comfort from the consideration that our 
common Father hath need, in this his immense 
family, of each servant ; of the hard against the 
hard, the rough against the rough, to be used as a 
sharp wedge agaiust hard knots. To clear the air 
and fertilize the soil, the rain which falls and sinks 
as the dew is not enough,— the thunder-storm is 
still required." (August 20th, 1530.) " I am far 
from believing myself without fault ; but I can, at' 
the least, glorify myself with St. Paul, that 1 cannot 
be accused of hypocrisy, and that I have always 
spoken the truth, perhaps, it is true, a little too 
harshly. But I would I'ather sin hi disseminating 
the truth with hard words, than shamefully retain 
it captive. If great lords are hurt by them, they 
can go about their own business, without thinking 
of mine or of my doctrines. Have I done them any 
wrong or injustice ? If I sin, it will be for God to 
pardon me.'' (Feb. 5th, 1522.) 

To Spalatin. " I cannot deny that I was more 
violent than I need have been ; but they knew it, 
and should not have provoked the dog. You can 
judge by yourself how difficult it is to moderati- 
one's fire, and x'estraiu oue's pen. And hence I 
F 2 



have always hated appeai'ing in public ; but the 
more I hate, the more I am forced to it in my 
own despite." (Feb. 1520.) He often said, " I 
keep three savage dogs. Ingratitude, Pride, and 
Envy ; he whom they bite is well-bitten." " When 
I die, the papists will discover the kind of adver- 
sary they have had in me. Other preachers will 
not observe the same measure, the same modera- 
tion. They have found this out with Miinzer, 
Carlstadt, Zwingle, and the Anabaptists." " When 
roused to anger, I become firmer, and keener 
witted. All my temptations and enemies are 
put to ilight. 1 never write or speak better than 
when in anger." 

To Michael Marx. " Thou canst not think how 

I love to see my adversaries daily rising up more 
against me. I am never haughtier or bolder than 
when I hear I have offended them. Doctors, bishops, 
princes, what are they to me ? It is written : ' Why 
do the heatlien rage, andthe people hnagine a vain thing ? 
The kings of the earth set themseltes, and the nders 
take counsel together against the Lord, and against 
his anointed !' I have such a contempt for these 
Satans, that if I were not retained here, I would 
straight to Rome in my hate of the devil and all 
these furies. But I must have patience with the 
pope, with ray disciples, with my servants, with 
Catherine von Bora, with every one ; and my hfe 
is nothing else than patience." 




" There is no union or society so sweet and happy 
as a well-assorted marriage. It is delightful to 
see a husband and wife living in unity and peace. 
But then nothing can be more bitter or more pain- 
ful than the dissolution of the tie. Next in bitter- 
ness is the death of children ; and this last sor- 
I'ow, alas ! I have experienced." " I am writing 
in a melancholy mood, for I have just heard of my 
father's death ; that old Luther, so good and so 
beloved. And though, through me, he has had so 
peaceable and pious a death in Christ, and though 
delivered from the terrors of this world, he rests in 
everlasting peace, nevertheless, my bowels yearn, 
and I am moved to the soul — for was it not to him 
that, by God's will, I owed my being." In a letter 
the same day, to Melanchthon : " I succeed to his 
name, and now I am to my family the old Luther. 
It is now my turn and my right to follow him 
through death to that kingdom promised us by 
Christ, as we, with him, are miserable and despised 

among men How I rejoice that he lived in 

these times, and that he was enabled to see the 
light of the truth. To God be blessing and praise, 
and thanks for all his acts, and all his designs !" 
(5th June, 1530.) 

" When the news came from Freyberg, that 
Master Hausmann was dead, we kept it from 
doctor Luther, and told him first that he was ill, 
then that he was confined to his bed, and then that 
lie was sweetly asleep in Jesus. The doctor began 
to weep loudly, and said, ' These are perilous times ; 
God is purging his floor and his garner ; I pray 
him that my wife and children may not live long 
after me.' He remained sitting all the day, weeping 
and bemoaning himself. There were with him, 
doctor Jonas, Master Philip (Melanchthon), Master 
Joachim Camerarius, and Gaspard von Keekeritz, 
and he sat amongst them, weeping piteously." (a.d. 

When he lost his daughter Madeleine, aged 
fourteen, his wife cried and lamented, but he said 

to her, " My dear Catherine, think where she is 
gone; to a certainty she has made a happy ex- 
change. The flesh bleeds, indeed; that is our 
nature; but the spirit exults and finds all as it 
should be. Young people think not of disput- 
ing; as we tell them, so they believe; with them 
all is natural. They pass away without regret or 
anguish, without the trials and temptations even of 
death itself, almost without bodily pain; just as if 
they fell asleep.". . . As his daughter lay vei'y ill, 
he exclaimed, " I love her much ! but, O my God ! 
if it be thy will to take her hence, I would give her 
up to thee without one selfish murmur." And 
when she was on her death-bed, he said to her, " My 
dearest child, my own Madeleine, I know you would 
gladly stay with your father here, and you will 
equally be ready to go to your Father which is in 
heaven ! will you not ? " And she replied, " Oh 
yes, my dear father, as God wills." " Dear little 
girl," he continued, " the spirit is willing, but the 
flesh is weak." He walked to and fro perturbedly, 
and said, "Ah yes! I have loved this dear child 
too much. If the flesh is so strong, what becomes 
of the spirit ? " 

He said, amongst other things, " God has not 
given such good gifts these thousand yeai's to any 
bishop as he has to me. We may glorify ourselves 
in the gifts of God. Alas! I hate myself that I 
cannot rejoice now as I ought to do, nor render 
sufficient thanks to God. I try to lift up my heai-t 
fi'om time to time to our Lord in some little 
hymn, and to feel as I ought to do." " Well ! 
whether we live or die, domini sumus, in the geni- 
tive or the nominative*. Come, sir doctor, be 

" The night before Madeleine's death, her mother 
had a dream. She dreamed that she saw two 
fair youths beautifully attired, who came as if they 
wished to take Madeleine away with them, and 
conduct her to be married. When Philip Melanch- 
thon came the next morning and asked the lady 

* A play upon the word Dominus. " Domini sumus" may 
signify (Domini being construed in the genitive), " We are 
the Lord's," or else (construed nominatively), " We are 
lords" (i. e. masters, teachers). — Translator. 



how it was with her daughter? she related her 
dream, at which he seemed frightened, and re- 
marked to others, ' that the young men were two 
holy angels, sent to carry the maiden to the true 
nuptials of a heavenly kingdom.' She died that 
same day. When she was in the agony of death, 
her father threw himself on his knees by her 
bedside, and weeping bitterly, prayed to God that 
he would spare her. She breathed her last in 
her father's arms. Her mother was in the room, 
but not by the bed, on account of the violence 
of her grief. The doctor continued to repeat, 
' God's will be done ! My child has another 
Father in heaven V Then master Philip observed, 
that the love of parents for theu* children was an 
image of the Divine love impressed on the hearts 
of men. God loves mankind no less than parents 
do their children. When they placed her on the 
bier, the father exclaimed, ' My poor, dear little 
Madeleine, you are at i-est now.' Then, looking 
long and fixedly at her, he said, 'Yes! dear child, 
thou shalt rise again, shalt shine like a star! Yes! 
like the sun! .... I am joyful in spirit; but oh! 
how sad in the flesh! It is a strange feeling this, 
to know she is so certainly at rest, that she is 
happy, and yet to be so sad.' " 

" And when the people came who were to help to 
can-y the body, and said to him, as usual, how much 
they sympathized in his grief, he said to them, 
* Ah ! grieve no more for her, she is now a saint in 
heaven. Oh ! that we may each experience such a 
death : such a death I would willingly die this 
moment.' While they were singing — ' Lord, re- 
member not our sins of old,' he added, ' not only 
our old sins, but those of to-day, this day ; for we 
are greedy, covetous, &c. The scandal of the mass 
still exists.' Ou returning from the burial, he said, 
amongst other things, — ' The fate of our children, 
and above all of girls, is ever a cause of uneasi- 
ness. I do not fear so much for boys ; they can 
find a living anywhere, provided they know how to 
work. But it is different with girls ; they, poor 
things, must search for employment staff in hand. 
A boy can enter the schools, and become a shining 
character {ein feiner vian), but a girl cannot do 
much to advance herself, and she is easily led away 
by bad example, and is lost. . . . Therefore, I give 
up without regret this dear one to our Lord.'" 

To Jonas. " Report has, no doubt, informed you 
of the transplanting of my daughter Madeleine to 
the kingdom of Christ ; and although my wife and 
I ought only to think of offering up joyful thanks 
to the Almighty for her happy deliverance and end, 
by which she has escaped from all the snares of 
the world, the flesh, the Turks, and the devil ; 
nevertheless the force of instinct {ttjs ffropyrig) is 
so great, that I cannot forbear from tears, sighs, 
and groans, — say rather, my very heart dies within 
me. I feel engraven on my inmost soul her 
features, her words, and actions ; all that she was 
to me in life and health, and on her sick bed, my 
dear, my dutiful child. The death of Christ him- 
self (and oh ! what are all deaths in comparison 1) 
cannot tear her from my thoughts, as it should. 
. . . She was, as you know, so sweet, so amiable, 
so full of tenderness." (September 23rd, 1542.) 



" It is better to direct one's conduct by natural 
reason than by the written law, for reason is the soul 
and queen of law. But where are they who are 
endowed with such an understanding ? You can 
scarcely meet with one in a century. Our gracious 
lord, the elector Frederick, was such a man. 
There was his councillor, too, Fabian von Feilitsch, 
a layman, who had not studied and who yet argued 
better on the points and the marrow of the law 
(super apices et medullam juris), than the jurists 
from their books. Master Philip Melanchthon so 
teaches the liberal arts, as to lend them more light 
than he derives from them. I myself, too, take my 
art into books, and do not draw it from them. He 
who should seek to imitate the four men of whom I 
have just spoken, would do well to abandon the idea, 
and content himself with learning and listening. 
Such prodigies are rare. The written law is for 
the people and the common herd of men. Natural 
reason and all-piercing thought for such men as 
those I have mentioned." "An eternal combat 
goes on between the jurists and the theologians ; 
there is the same opposition betwixt the law and 
grace." " The law is a lovely bride, as long as she 
i-emains in her nuptial bed. If she goes to another 
bed, and wishes to domineer over theology, she 
is a great — . Law should doff her cap to theology." 
To Melanchthon. " I am of the same opinion 
that I always was with regard to the right of the 
sword. I think with you, that the Gospel has 
taught and counselled nothing with regard to this 
right, and that it could not possibly do so, because 
the Gospel is the law of will and liberties, which 
have nothing to do with the sword or the right of 
the sword. But this right is not abolished by the 
Gospel, but is even confirmed and recommended ; 
which is not the case with respect to things that 
are simply permitted." " Before me, there has 
been no jurist who has known what the law is, 
in relation to God ; what they know, they have 
from me. We do not find in the Gospel that we 
are to adore jurists. If our Lord God will be our 
judge, what are jurists to him ? As to the con- 
cerns of this world, I leave them masters. But in 
the things which concern God, they must be under 
me. My psalm, my own psalm is. Be wise now, 
therefore, ye kings ; if one of the two must perish, 
perish the law, reign Christ ! 

" ' The kings of the earth set themselves together.^ 
David himself says, 'Against his Son there will 
array themselves the power, the wisdom, the mul- 
titude of the world, and he will be alone against 
many, foolish against the wise, powerless against 
the powerful ;' of a verity, a marvellous ordering 
of things. Our Lord God has all and evei'y thing 
except the wise ; but beyond this, there peals the 
terrible, ' Be wise now therefore, O ye kings ; be 
instructed, ye judges of the earth.'" "If the 
jurists will not pray for pardon for their sins, and 
receive the Gospel, I will so confound them that 
they shall not be able to extricate themselves. I 
understand nothing of law, but I am lord of the law 
in things touching the conscience. We are indebted 
to the jurists for having taught and for teaching to 
the world such countless equivocations, tricks, and 
calumnies, that their language has become more 



confused than in Babel ; here, no one can com- 
prehend the other ; there, no one will under- 
stand the other. O sycophants, O sophists, pests 
of mankind, I write to you, boiling over with 
passion, and I doubt whether I could teach you 
better were I cool and collected." (Feb. 6th, 1546.) 

Alluding to a student's being admitted the 
following day as Doctor of Law, Luther said, 
" To-morrow a fresh viper will be created to sting 
the theologians." 

" The saying is right, A good jurist is a bad 
Cliristian. In fact, the jurist esteems and vaunts 
the justice of works, as if we were justified by them 
before God. If he turn Christian, he is looked 
upon by his brother jurists as a monster, and 
has to beg his bread, being repudiated as se- 
ditious." " Strike at the conscience of the jurists, 
and they know not what to do. Munzer attacked 
thera with the sword ; he was a madiuan." "Were 
I to study law fjr two years, I should become 
more learned than Dr. C, for I should speak 
of things just as tliey are, as being just or unjust, 
whilst he quibbles on words." " The doctrine 
of the jurists, is nothing but a nisi, an except. 
Theology does not proceed on this wise, but has a 
firm foundation.'' 

" The authority of theologians consists in their 
power of obscuring universals, and all connected 
j with them. They can raise and lower. As soon as 
the word makes itself heard, Moses and the emperor 
must yield." " The law and laws of the Greeks and 
Persians ai'e fallen into desuetude. The Roman 
or imperial law only holds by a thread. For if an 
empire or a kingdom fall, its laws and ordinances 
must likewise fail." " I leave cobbler, tailor, and 
jui'ist to their several callings. But let them not 
attack my pulpit !" . , . " Many believe that the 
theology wliicli has been declared of .our time, is 
naught. If this be the case whilst I live, what 
will it be after my death ? As a set off, many 
amongst us are big with this thought of which 
they will by and by be brought to bed, namely, 
that the law is naught." 

Sermon against the Jurists, preached on Twelfth 
Day. " Look at our haughty jurists and knights 
at law of Wittemberg. . . . They do not read our 
books, call them catonic (for canonic), take no 
heed of our Lord, and do not attend church. 
Well I since they do not recognize Dr. Pomer to 
be bishop of Wittemberg, or me to be preacher 
to this church, I no longer reckon tliem amongst 
my flock. But, say they, you go against the 
imperial law. I — this law which wrongs the poor." 
There follows a dialogue between a jurist and a 
litigant, in which the former promises for ten 

thalers to protract a law-suit for ten years 

" Good and pious folk like Ileinicke Fuchs, in the 
poem of the Fox." ..." Good people, these are 
the reasons that make me pui'sue the jurists so 
relentlessly. . , . They vaunt the canon law, the 
— of the i)ope, and represent it to be a magnifi- 
cent tiling, after our having with such trouble 
expelled it from our churches. ... I warn you, 
jurist, to let the old dog to sleep. Once awakened, 
you will not easily get him back to his kennel ! 
The jurists are full of complaints and bitterness 
against me. Wiiat can I do ? Had I not to render 
an account of their souls, I would not chastise 
them." He subsequently stat s, that he excepts 
pious jurists. 



To GerbeUius. " In this tumult of scandals, fall 
not off from yourself. To sustain you, I render 
back the spouse (faith) that you formerly gave 
me ; I return her to you a spotless virgin. But 
what is most strange and admirable in her is, 
that she desires and attracts an infinity of rivals, 
and that she is all the more chaste for being the 
spouse of many. . . . Our rival, PhiHp Melanch- 
thon, salutes you. Adieu, be happy with the affi- 
anced bride of your youth." (January 23rd, 152.S.) 

To Melanchthon. " Be a sinner, and be thy sins 
never so great, let thy faith be still greater, and 
rejoice thee in Christ, who is the conqueror of sin, 
of death, and of the world. We must sin, as long as 
we are here. This life is not the abode of righteous- 
ness ; no, ' we look,' as says St. Peter, ' for a new 
heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righ- 
teousness.' .... Pray earnestly, for thou art a 
gi'eat sinner." " I am just now deep in the doc- 
trine of the remission of sins. I set at nought the 
law and all the devils. Whosoever can believe 
from his heart in the remission of sins, he shall be 
saved." " Just as it is impossible to meet in na- 
ture with the matheviaticaf, indivisible point, so 
the righteousness demanded by the law is nowhere 
to be found. No man can entirely satisfy the law ; 
even lawyers themselves, spite of all their cunning, 
are very frequently obliged to have recourse to the 
remission of sins, for they cannot always hit the 
mark, and when they have given a wrong judg- 
ment, and the devil troubles their conscience.s, 
neither Bartolus nor Baldus, nor all their other 
doctors, are of any use to them. To bear up, they 
are forced to protect themselves with the iwitiiceia 
that is, with the remission of sins. They do their 
best to judge ai'ight, and after that, all that remains 
for them, is to say : ' If I have given a wi'ong 
judgment, O my God, pardon me.' It is theo- 
logy alone which possesses the mathematical point. 
She does not grope in the dark. She has the word, 
even God's word. She says, ' Jesus Christ is all righ- 
teousness; whosoever lives in him, he is righteous.' " 

" The law is, without doubt, necessary, but not 
for salvation ; for no man can fulfil it: but the 
pardon of sins consummates and fulfils it." " The 
law is a true labyrinth which does but perplex the 
conscience, and the righteousness of tlie law is a 
minotaur, that is to say, a pure fiction, which, in- 
stead of conducting us to heaven, leads us to hell." 

Addition by Luther to a letter of Melanchthon vpoti 
grace and the laic. . . . " To set myself entirely out 
of sight of the law and works, I do not content 
myself with seeing in Jesus Christ my master, 
my lord, my benefactor, I would see in him my 
doctrine, my gift, so that in him I possess all 
things. He says, ' I am the way, the truth, and 
the life ;' not ' I show you, or give you the way, 
the truth, and the life ;' as if he only wrought this 
within me, and was himself nevertheless apart from 
me." ..." Theology is summed up in one only 
point : true faith and trust in Jesus Christ. This 
article embraces all the rest. Our faith is 'a 
groan which cannot be uttered ;' and elsewhere, 
' that we are in bondage under the law' (which 
means, that we imprison ourselves in our own 
works, instead of mounting on the wings of faith." 



" The devil deaircs actice righteousness only, a 
righteousness which we work out for ourselves, 
and in ourselves, whereas we have really only a 
passive and extrinsic one, wliich he takes from 
us. If we were limited to active righteousness, 
we should be lost, for it is defective in ail men." 
An English doctor, Antony Barns, asked Doctor 
Luther, if Christians, justified by faith in Christ, 
had any mei'it in the good works which followed, 
for that this question was often debated in Eng- 
land. Answer. " 1st. We are still sinners after 
justification. 2nd. God promises rewards to those 
who do well. Works do not merit heaven, but 
they adorn the faith which justifies us. It is his 
own gift to us, which God crowns." 

" Fidelia animoe vox ad Christum. Ego sum txium 
peccatum, tu Piea justitia ; triumpho igitur securus *, 
&c. To bear up against des{iair, it is not sufficient 
to have vain words upon the lips, or barren and 
languishing faith; but we must stand erect, con- 
firm our soul, and rely on Christ against sin, death, 
hell, the law, and an evil conscience. When the 
law accuses thee and reproaches thee with thy 
faults, thy conscience says to thee, ' Yea, God has 
given the law, and commanded it to be kept, under 
pain of etei'nal damnation: thou must therefore be 
damned.' To which thou shalt reply, ' I well know 
that God has given the law; but he has also given 
us the Gospel, by his Son, which says, " He that 
believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." This 
Gospel is above the whole law; for the law is 
of the earth, and has been transmitted to us by 
man; the Gospel is from Heaven, and has been 
brought to us by the Son of God.' ' It matters 
not,' says conscience, ' thou hast sinned and trans- 
gressed the commandment of God; therefore, thou 
shalt be damned.' Answer. ' I know very well that 
I have sinned, but the Gospel frees me from my 
sins, because I believe in Jesus; and this Gospel is 
as high above the law as the heavens are high 
above the earth. This ia the reason that the body 
must remain upon earth, to bear the burden of the 
law; but the soul ascends to the mountain with 
Isaiic, and clings to the Gospel, which pnmiises 
life eternal to all who believe in Christ Jesus.' 
' It matters not,' again says conscience, 'thou shalt 
go to hell; thou hast not kept the law.' Answer. 
' Yes, if Heaven had not come to my succour; but it 
has come to my succour, has been opened to me; 
our Saviour has said, " He that believeth aud 
is baptized, shall be saved." ' God said to Moses, 
' Thou shalt see ray back, but thou shalt not see 
my face.' The back was the law, the face is the 

" The law does not endure grace, and, in its 

turn, grace does not endui-e the law. The law is 

only given for the haughty, the arrogant, nobles or 

peasants, for hypocrites, and those who delight 

in a multitude of laws. But gi'ace is promised 

to poor suffering hearts, to the humble, to the 

afflicted, and for the pardon of sins. Master 

Nicholas Hausmann, Cordatus, Philip Melanch- 

j thon, and I look for gi'ace." " There is no writer, 

I save St. Paul, who has written fully and unanswer- 

' ably on the law, because reason is inadequate to 

judge of the law: it can only be judged by the 

Spirit." (August 15th, 1530.) 

* " The cry of a faithful soul to Christ. I am thy sin, 
thou my righteousness; I rejoice, then, in safety," &c. 

" Good and true diviiiiiy (Llie<jlogy) consists in 
practice, use, and exercise. Its foundation is Christ, 
whose passion, death, and resurrection are to be 
comprehended through faith. Some, in the present 
day, have devised a speculative theology, in accord- 
ance with reason. This belongs to the devil in 
hell. Thus, Zwingle and the sacramentarians 
speculate that the body of Christ is in the bread, 
but only in a spiritual sense. This is also the 
theology of Origen. David did not think thus; 
but he acknowledged his sins, and said, ' Have 
mercy upon me, Lord.' " 

" I saw lately two signs in the heavens. I looked 
from my window in the middle of the night, and I 
saw the stars and all the majestic vault of God, sus- 
taining itself without my being able to perceive the 
pillars upon which the Creator had propped it. 
Nevertheless, it crumbled not away. There are 
those, however, who search fur these pillars, and 
who would fain touch them with their hands ; but, 
not being able to find them, they tremble, lament, 
and fear the heavens will fall. They might touch 
them, the heavens would never be moved. Again, 
I saw great and heavy clouds, floating over my 
head like an ocean. I perceived no prop which 
could sustain them, and still they fell not, but 
saluted us sadly, and passed on. And as they 
passed, I distinguished the arch which had upheld 
them — a splendid rainbow. Slight it was, without 
doubt, and delicate ; one could not but tremble for 
it, under such a mass of clouds. Nevertheless, 
this aery line sufficed to support the load, and 
to protect us. There are those, however, who are 
alarmed at the weight of the clouds, and have no 
confidence in their frail prop. They would prove 
its strength, and not being able, they dread the 
clouds will dissolve and drown us with their floods. 
. . . Our rainbow is weak, their clouds are heavy ; 
but the end will tell the strength of our bow." 
(August, 1530.) 



" Curiosity is our bane ; it was the cause of Adam's 
fall. I fear two things — epicurism and enthusiasm, 
two sects which have still to reign. Takeaway the 
decalogue aud heresy vanishes. The Holy Scrip- 
tures are the manual of all heretics." 

Luther called seditious and presumptuous-minded 
men, " precocious saints, who, attacked by the 
worm before arriving at maturity, were blown 
by the slightest gust from the tree. Dreamers 
(Schwermer) aie like butterflies. At first, a grub 
which attaches itself to a wall, or builds itself a 
little house, is hatched by the warmth of the sun, 
and flies off a butterfly. The butterfly dies on a 
tree, and leaves a long train of eggs." Dr. Mar- 
tin Luther said of false brothers and heretics, who 
fall away from us, that we ought to let them alone, 
and not be vexed about them. If they will not 
listen to us, we can send them, with all their fine 
bravado, to hell. 

" When I began to write against indulgences, I 
lived for three years alone, without any holding 
forth their hand to me. Now they are all for 
claiming a share in the ti'iumi)li. I suffer enough 
from my enemies, without the pain my good little 



brothers give me. But who can bear up against 
all ? Here am I attacked by young men, all Iresh 
and unworked, whilst I am old and worn with 
great sufferings and great labours. Osiander mivy 
well hector, he has an easy time of it ; he has 
only two sermons to deliver a week, and has four 
hundred florins a-year." " In 1521, I had a 
visit from one Marcus, one of the religionists of 
Zwickau, an agreeable-mannered man enough, but 
of empty opinions and life, in the view of conferring 
with me on the doctrine they profess. As he 
kept talking to me of things quite foreign from 
Sci'ipture, I told him that I recognized the word 
of God alone, and that if he sought to establish 
anything else, he must at least prove his mission 
by miracles. His reply was, ' Miracles ! Ah ! you 
will see miracles, indeed, in seven years. God himself 
cannot take my faith from me.' He also said, ' 1 
can see at once whether any one is of the elect or 
not.' After talking a long time about the talent 
which must not be hid, and about purification , 
uvariiiess, expectation, I asked him who understood 
his language ? He answered that he preached 
only before believing and able disciples. ' How 
do you know that they are able I' I asked. ' I 
have only to look at them,' he replied, ' to see 
their talent.' ' What talent, now, my friend, do 
you see in me V ' You are still,' he answered, ' in 
the first stage of mobility, but a time will come 
when you will be in the first of immobility like 
myself.' On this, I adduced to him several texts 
of Scripture, and we parted. Shortly after, he 
wrote me a verj' friendly letter, full of exhorta- 
tions ; to which my sole answer was, ' Adieu, dear 
Marcus.' " 

" Some time afterwards a turner came to me, 
who also called himself a prophet. He met me 
just as I was going out of my house, and said 
to me in a confident tone, ' Sir doctor, I bring you 
a message from my Father.' ' Who is thy Father V 
I said. 'Jesus Christ,' he replied. 'He is our 
common Father ; what hath he ordered thee to 
announce to me V ' That God's anger is kindled 
against the world.' ' Who told thee this ?' ' Yes- 
terday, just as I had passed through the gate of 
Koswick, I saw a small cloud of fire in the air ; 
which is a clear sign of God's wrath.' He then 
mentioned another sign ; ' In the midst of a deep 
sleep,' he said, ' I saw drunkards seated at table, 
who said, Drink, di'ink, and God's hand was over 
them. Suddenly one of them poured some beer 
on my head, and I awoke.' ' Listen, my friend,' I 
then said to him, ' do not make free in this manner 
with God's name and orders,' and I gave him a 
severe reprimand. When he found what I thought 
of him, he went off" in a passion, muttering, ' Of 
course, all who don't think with Luther are fools.' " 
" Another time, again, I had to do with a man 
from the Low Countries, who wished to argue 
with me, to use his own terms, up to hell fire 
inclusively. When I saw his ignorance, I said, 
' Would it not be better to dispute over some cans 
of beer V He was nettled at this, and took himself 
off". The devil is a proud spirit, and can't bear 

Master Stiefel came to Wittember'g to confer 
privily with Dr. Luther, and showed him his 
opinion on the Day of Judgment, in twenty ai'ticles. 
He believed that it would take place on St. Luke's 
day. He was bade to remain quiet, and to keep 

his opinions to himself, which annoyed him ex- 
ceedingly. " Dear sir doctor," he said, " I am 
surprised at your forbidding me to preach this, 
and at your not believing me. Still, I must speak, 
albeit unwillingly." Luther replied, " Dear mas- 
ter, you have managed to hold your tongue for ten 
years on this matter, during the reign of the 
papacy ; keep quiet the little time that remains." 
" But this very morning, as I was setting out 
early, I saw a beautiful rainbow, and thought of 
the coming of Christ." " There will be no rain- 
bow when that day coraeth ; the thunder-bolt will 
destroy every living creatui'e instantaneously. A 
strong and powerful blast of the trumpet will 
arouse us all. They who are in the grave are not 
to be awakened by the piping of the shepherd's 
reed." (a.d. 1533.) " Michael Stiefel believes him- 
self to be the seventh angel announcing the last 
day, and is giving away his books and his chattels, 
as he will soon have no more use for them." 
" Bileas is certainly damned, although he has had 
astounding revelations, no less than those of Daniel, 
for they embrace four empires too. 'Tis a fearful 
warning for the proud. Oh ! let us humble our- 
selves !" 

Duke Henry of Saxony having come to Wittem- 
berg, Dr. Martin Luther spoke twice to him against 
Dr. Jeckel, exhoi-ting the prince to think of the evil 
days upon which the church had fallen. Jeckel had 
preached the following doctrine: — " Do what thou 
wilt, believe only, thou shalt be saved." He ought 
to have said: " When thou shalt be horn again, ?a\i\. 
have become a new man, do then as thou art moved 
to do." . . A pastor of Torgau having complained 
to Luther of Dr. Jeckel's insolence and hypocrisy, 
and of his having won over the nobility, the council, 
and even the prince himself, by his wiles, the doctor 
shuddered, sighed, spoke not, but he took himself 
to prayer. That very day he ordered that Eisleben 
(Agricola) should be required to make a public re- 
traction, or that he should be publicly put down. 
" Dr. Luther, reproaching Jeckel for daring, with 
his limited experience and scanty skill in logic and 
rhetoric, to oppose his former masters and teachers, 
the latter replied : ' I ought to fear God more than 
my teachers. I liave a God as well as you. . . .' 
Dr. Jeckel afterwards sat down at table to supper, 
but with a gloomy air. Dr. Luther eat heartily, as 
did the guests who had come from Freyberg. 
Then Luther broke out with, ' If I had made the 
court as pious as you the world, I should have 
laboured to some purpose,' &c. Jeckel still kept 
his eyes cast gloomily down, showing by his looks 
what was passing in his mind. At last Luther got 
up to take his leave, when Jeckel tried to detain 
him, and engage hira in discussion; but the doctor 
would have nothing more to say to him." " Dr. 
Jeckel is one of the Eisleben kind. He was court- 
ing my niece Anna; but I said to him, 'Never, to 
all eternity.' And to the little girl: ' If thou wilt 
have him, take thyself from my sight for ever; for 
never will I see or listen to thee more.' " 

Of the Antinoniians, and, in paHicular, of Eisleben. 
" Ah ! how painful it is to lose a good and dearly- 
loved friend ! This man used to be my guest, my 
companion, and would laugh and make merry with 
me. . . . And now, he turns against me ! . . . 
Such doctrine, however, must not be endured. Re- 
ject the law, without which there can be nor 
Church, nor government ! This is not tapping the 



cask, but breaking it in, . . . Now is the time to 
resist. . . . Can I bear to bear bira puffing him- 
self up whilst I Hve, and seeking to be the master ? 
. . . . It is no excuse for him to say that he has 
only spoken of Dr. Creuziger and of master Roerer. 
The Catechism, the Explanation of the Decalogue, 
and the Confession of Augsburg are mine, and not 
Creuziger's or Roerer's. . . . He would base re- 
pentance on the love of justice, and so preaches the 
revelation of the divine wrath to the just and 
pious only. He does not preacli for the wicked. 
Yet St. Paul says the law is for the ungodly. In 
short, by taking away the law, he takes away the 
Gospel, and he withdraws our belief from the firm 
support of conscience to subject it to the caprices 
of the flesh. Wlio could have dreamt of this sect 
of the Antinomians ! . . . I iiave got over three 
cruel storms — Miinzer, the Sacramentarians, and 
the Anabaptists. There is to be no end of writing, 
then. I do not wish to live long, for there is no 
peace to be hoped for." (a.d. 1538.) 

Dr. Luther ordered master Ambrose Bemd to 
instruct the professors at the university to abstain 
from faction, and from paving the way for schism, 
and at the same time prohibited then- electing 
master Eisleben dean. ..." Tell that to your pro- 
fessors of faculties, and if they disregard it, I will 
denounce them from the pulpit." (a.d. 1539.) On 
the last day of November (a.d. 1538), as Luther 
was enjoying himself with his cousins, his brother, 
and sister, and some friends from Mansfeld, men- 
tion was made of master Grickel, and they inter- 
ceded for him. The doctor replied, " I held that 
man to be my most faithful friend, but he has 
grossly deceived me. Let him bewai-e ; I shall soon 
write against him : there is no repentance in him." 
"Such was my confidence in that man (Eisleben), 
that, when I went to Smalkalde in 1537, I en- 
ti'usted my pulpit to him, my church, my wife, 
my children, ray house, and all that was dearest to 
me." Dr. Luther was reading ovei', in the evening 
of the last day of January, 1539, the propositions 
which Eisleben was going to maintain against him, 
and in which there were some absurdities about 
Saul and Jonathan, and there occured the expres- 
sion, " I have eat a little honey, and therefore I 
die." "Jonathan," said Luther, "is master Eis- 
leben, who eats honey and j)reaches the Gospel ; 
Saul is Luther. . . . Ah ! Eisleben, art thou such 
a ... Oh ! God forgive thee thy rancour." " If 
the law be thus transferred from the church to the 
council, to the civil power, the latter will say in its 
turn, ' We, too, are faithful Christians ; the law 
concerns not us ;' and the executioners, at last, 
will say the same. All will be grace and sweetness, 
and then unbridled passions and crimes will follow. 
Miinzer began on this wise." 

In 1540, towards the close of an entertainment 
which Luther gave to some of the principal mem- 
bers of the university, and when all were in good 
humour, a goblet was produced, stained in rings of 
various colours. Luther filled it with wine, and 
emptied it to the health of his guests ; and, in their 
turn, they all severally drained it to his health, 
until it came round to master Eisleben, when Luther 
said, as he held the glass out to him, " My friend, 
all in this glass, above the first ring, is the ten com- 
mandments ; the credo (belief) comes next ; then 
the pater noster ; the catechism is at the bottom ;" 
and then he quaffed it off", filled it again, and pre- 

sented it to master Eisleben, who would not go 
beyond the first ring, but put the glass buck on the 
table, and could not look at it without a kind of 
horror. Luther noticed this, and remarked to his 
guests, " I knew that master Eisleben would only 
drink off the commandments, and would leave the 
credo, the pater noster, and the catechism." Master 
Jobst, dining one day with Luther, showed him 
some propositions, according to whicli the law ought 
not to be preached, since we are not justified by it. 
Luther got angry, and exclaimed, " What, will my 
brethren propose such innovations even while 1 
Hve? Ah! how ought not master Philip to be 
honoured, who teaches with clearness and truth the 
use and utility of the law. Count Albert von 
Mansfeld's prophecy is being realised. He wrote 
to me: ' There is a Munzer lurking behind that doc- 
trine;^ and, indeed, he who pulls down the law, 
pulls down at the same time the whole framework 
of human polity and society (polltiam et tecono- 
miam). If the law be thrust out of the church, there 
will no longer be anything recognized as a sin in 
the world, since the Gospel defines and punishes 
sin only by recurring to the law." (a.d. 1541.) 

" If, at the outset, I inveighed against the law, 
both from the pulpit and in my writings, the reason 
was, that the Christian Church was at the time 
overladen with superstitions, luider which Christ 
was altogether buried and hidden, and that I 
yearned to save and liberate pious God-fearing 
souls from this tyranny over the conscience. But 
I have never rejected the law." 



Master Philip Melanchthon one day told the follow- 
ing fable at Dr. Martin Luther's table: — " Aman had 
caught a little bird, and the bird desiring its liberty, 
said to him, ' O my good friend, let me go, and I will 
show you a beautiful pearl, worth thousands of 
florins.' ' Thou art fooling me,' said the man.' ' Oh 
no, place confidence in me, come with me, and I 
will show it thee.' The man lets the bird go, and 
it perches itself on a tree, and begins to sing, 
' Trust little, keep what thou hast, trouble not thy- 
self about what is irrecoverably lost.' {Crede parntm, 
tua serta, et quce periere, relinque.) Now, was not 
that a beautiful pearl ?" " Philip once asked me 
to glean a motto for him out of the Bible, which he 
would never be tired of. There is nothing you 
can give to man, which he will not grow tired of." 
" Had not Philip been so afflicted by temptations, 
he would have had strange ideas and opinions." 

Luther's idea of Paradise is gross and material. 
He believes that in the new heaven, and in the new 
earth, there will be the useful animals as well as 
men. " I often ponder upon the life everlasting 
and its delights, but I cannot comprehend how we 
shall pass our time, for there will be no changes, 
no work, no drinking, no eating, nor business ; but 
I conclude we shall have objects enough to con- 
template. On this, Philip Melanchthon said, vei'y 
well, * Master, show us the Father ; that is 
enough.' " " The peasants do not deserve the 
fruits which the earth so lavishly brings forth. I 
return more thanks to our Lord for a tree, than all 



the peasants for all the produce of their fields. 
' Ah ! Dondne Doctor,' said Melanchthon, ' except 
a few, as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac' " 

" Dr. Jonas said at supper, ' Ah ! how magni- 
ficently St. Paul speaks of his death. I caunot^' 
however, believe him !' ' It strikes me too,' said. 
Dr. Lutliei-, ' that St. Paul could not think on this 
subject as firmly as he spoke. I myself, un- 
happily, cannot make my faith equal to what I 
preach, speak, and write of the matter, or to' 
what others suppose of me. And, perhaps, it 
were not good that we should be able to perfoi'ra 
to the height of God's commands, or there would 
be an end of his divinity ; he would be found a 
liar and his words would no more be believed.' " 
" A wicked and horrible book against the holy 
Trinity was published in 1532, speaking of which, 
Dr. Luther said, ' Men of this chimerical turn of 
mind, do not think that others may have had 
temptations on this matter as we'd. But how op- 
pose my own poor thoughts to the word of God and 
to the Holy Ghost? {oppunere meam cogltationem terbo 
Deiet Spiritiii Sancto?) Such an opposition will 
not bear examination." 

The doctor's wife said to him, " Sir doctor, how 
happens it that under the papacy, we prayed so 
often and so fervently, whilst now we pray so coldly 
and so seldom ?" The doctor replied, " The devil 
is ever at his servants to make them diligent iu 
their worship of him." Once, exhorting his wife 
to read and to learn carefully God's word, and 
particularly the Psalter, she answered, that she 
heard and read quite enough of it evei-y day, and 
could even i-epeat many things out of it. The 
doctor sighed, and said, " Even so begins a dislike 
of God's word; 'tis the sign of an evil future. New 
books will appear, and Holy Scripture will be 
despised, cast into a corner, and be, as the phrase 
runs, thrown under the table." Luther askmg his 
wife if she believed herself to be holy, she was all 
surprised, and said, " How can I be holy ? I am a 
great sinner !" On which, he remarked, " You see, 
then, the horrid consequences of the papal doc- 
trine; how it has injured men's hearts, and pre- 
occupied the whole inward man, so that they can 
no longer see anything except the piety, and the 
personal and outward sanctity of the works one 
does, even for one's own sake." 

" The PiUer Nostcr and faith give me confidence 
against the devil. My little Madeleine, and my 
little John too, pray for me, as well as many other 
Christians. ... I love my Catherine, I love her 
more than myself, for I would die sooner than see 
any harm happen to her or her children, I love 
my lord Jesus Christ, too, who, through pure pity, 
has shed his blood for me. But my faith ought to 
be much greater and livelier than it is. O, my 
God ! judge not thy servant 1" " What contri- 
butes not a little to afflict and tempt me, is that 
God seems to be capricious and changeable. He 
gave Adam promises and ceremonies ; and that 
came to an end with the rainbow and Noah's ai'k. 
To Abraham he gave circumcision, to Moses mira- 
culous signs, to his people, the law ; but to Christ, 
and through Christ, tlie Gospel, which we look 
upon as annulling all this. And here come the 
Turks to efface the Divine promise, and to say, 
' Your law shall last yet a little, but shall be 
changed at last.' " (Luther subjoins no reflection). I 



'' Once, in our monastery at Wittemberg, I dis- 
tinctly heard the devil making a noise. As I was 
begimiing to read the Psalter, after singing matins, 
and had sat down, and was about to study and 
write for my lecture, the devil came, and thrice 
made a noise behind my stove, as if he would have 
dragged it away. At last, as he would not give 
over, I put my little books by, and went to bed. . . . 
I heard him another night, in the room above my 
he,;d, but, perceiving it was the devil, I paid no at- 
tention and went to sleep again." " A young 
girl, who was the mistress of the old miser at Wit- 
temberg, falling ill, saw a vision — a fine and magni- 
ficent figure, that she took to be the Christ, and to 
which she accordingly addi'essed her prayers. They 
sent iu all haste to the monastery for Dr. Luther. 
When he saw the figure, and that it was only a 
trick of the devil's, he exhorted the girl not to 
allow herself to be so cozened; and, indeed, as 
soon as she had spat in the phantom's face, the 
devil disappeared, and the figure changed into a 
great serpent, which suddenly bit the girl's ear, so 
that the blood flowed, and then disappeared. Dr. 
Luther saw this with his own eyes, together with 
many other persons." (The editor of Luther's con- 
versations does not say that he had this anecdote 
from Luther himself.) A minister of Torgau com- 
plained to Luther that the devil made an extraor- 
dinary tumult and clatter iu his house of a night, 
breaking his pots and pans, and then throwing them 
at his head, and laughing. This racket had gone on 
for a year, so that his wife and children insisted on 
leaving the house. Luther said to him : " Dear 
brother, be strong in the Lord ; be not overcome by 
this murderous devil. If you have not invited this 
guest by your sins, you can say to him, ' I am here 
by divine authority, father of a family, and, by a 
heavenly call, pastor of the church; but thou, thou 
devil, glidest into this house as a thief and nmrde- 
rer. Why dost thou not stay iu heaven ? Who 
has asked thee hei-e ? ' " 

Oti a young girl possessed by an eril spirit. " Since 
this devil is a merry spirit, and makes a mock of 
us, we must first pray seriously for this young girl, 
who is a sufferer on account of our sins, and then 
flout the spirit, and treat it contemptuously, but not 
try it b}' exorcisms and other grave forms, because 
the devil's pride laughs at all that. Let us perse- 
vere in prayer for the maideu, and in scorn for the 
devil, until, with the grace of Christ, it withdraws. 
It would be well for the princes, too, to reform their 
vices, through which this evil spirit plainly tri- 
umphs. I pray thee, since the thing is worthy to 
be made public, to make diligent inquiry into all 
the circumstances ; and, to guard against imposi- 
tion, ascertain whether the coins which this girl 
swallows be really gold, and sterling money. For 
I have been made the prey of so many cheats, 
tricks, plots, lies, and artifices, as to incline me to 
withhold my belief from anything I have not seen 
_or heard." (August 5ih, 153G.) " Let the pastor 
not be troubled in conscience at having buried the 
woman who killed herself, if, mdeed, she did kill 
herself. I know many similar instances, but have 
commonly supposed the suff'erers to liave been 
killed simply and immediately by the devil, as a 


traveller is slain by a robber. For when it is 
evident that the suicide could not have taken place 
naturally ; when we hear of a string, or a girdle, 
or (as in the case under consideration) of a loose 
Veil, without any knot to be seen in it, and which 
would not be strong enough to kill a fly, we ought, 
in my opinion, to conclude it to be some fascination 
of the devil's, binding the sufferers to suppose they 
are doing something else, for instance, praying, — 
and then he kills them. Nevertheless, the civil 
power acts rightly in visiting such things severely, 
or Satan would grow bolder. The world deserves 
warnings of the kind, for it is growing epicurean, 
and thinks the devil nothing." (Dec. Ist, 1541.) 
" Satan has attempted our prior's life, by throwing 
do»vn a large slip of wall upon him ; but God mira- 
culously preserved him." (July 4th, 1524.) 
— «" The cx'azed, the halt, the blind, and the dumb, 
are all possessed with demons. Physicians who 
treat these infirmities as arising from natural 
causes, are fools, who know not the mighty power 
of the devil." (July Uth, 1528.) "There are 
places in many countries where devils have taken 
up their abode. Evil spirits abound in Prussia. 
In Switzerland, on a lofty mountain not far from 
Lucerne, is a lake, called Pilate's pool, where the 
devil has made a fearful settlement. There is a 
like pool in my country, into which if you cast a 
stone, a sudden tempest arises, and the whole sur- 
rounding couutry shakes. 'Tis the dwelling of 
imprisoned devils." " On Good Friday, at Susseu, 
the devil bore off three squires, who had sold them- 
selves to him." (a.d. ISSfJ.) On the occasion of a 
tempest, Luther said, " This is the devil's work ; 
winds are nothing else than good and bad spirits. 
The devil puffs and blows." " Two noblemen had 
sworn to kill one another. The devil having killed 
one of them in his bed, with the other's sword, the 
survivor was brought forth into the market-place, 
where they dug up and carried off the ground 
covered by his shadow, and then banished him. 
This is called civil death. Dr. Gi'egory Bruck, 
chancellor of Saxony, told Luther this." Then come 
two stories of persons who were warned beforehand 
that they would be borne off by the devil, and who, 
notwithstandiiig they had received the huly sacrament, 
and that their friends watched by tlmm with wax tapers, 
and in prayer, were borne off on the day and hour 
indicated. " The devil tormented our Lord himself. 
But, provided he bear not off the soul, all is well." 
-— a '£i|,g devil leads people about in their sleep, iu 
such sort that they act exactly as if they were 
awake. The papists, formerly, in their supersti- 
tion, said that such persons could not have been 
baptized, or that they must have been so by a 
drunken priest." " In the Low Countries, and in 
Saxony, there is a monstrous dog which smells out 
the dying, and prowls around the house. . . ." 
" Some monks were taking to their monastery one 
possessed. The devil that was iu him said to the 
monks, ' my brothers, what have I done to you?'" 
They were talking at Luther's table one day how 
one of a party of gentlemen, who were riding out, 
exclaimed, clapping spurs to his horse, " The devil 
take the hindmost !" He was left the last, and the 
devil snatched up horse and all, and bore them off. 
Luther observed, " We should not ask Satan to our 
table. He comes without invitation. Devils swarm 
around us ; and we ourselves, who are daily watch- 
ing and praying, liave enough to do with him." 

" An aged priest, at his prayers one day, heard the 
devil behind him, trying to hinder him, and grunt- 
ing as loud as a whole drove of pigs. He turned 
round without manifesting the least alarm, and 
said, ' Master devil, you have caught what you de- 
served ; you were a fine angel, and now you are a 
filthy hog.' The grunting stopped at once, for the 
devil cannot bear to be mocked. . . . Faith makes 
him weak as a child." " The devil dreads God's 
word. He cannot bite it ; it breaks his teeth." 

"A young, ill-conditioned scapegrace was carous- 
ing in a tavern one day with some friends. Having 
drunk out his money, he said that he would sell his 
soul to any who would pay a good round score for 
him. Shortly after, a man entered the tavern, and 
sitting down to drink with him, asked if he really 
meant that he would sell his soul ? He answered 
boldly, ' Yes ;' and the man paid for his drink the 
whole day. In the evening, when his victim was 
drunk, the unknown said to the others present, 
' Gentlemen, what think you now ; if I buy a horse, 
have I not a right to the saddle and bridle as well {' 
They were exceedingly alarmed at these words ; 
but, as the stranger pressed them, at last stammered 
out iu the affirmative ; upon which the devil (for it 
was he) seized the unfortunate wretch, and bore 
him off with him through the ceiling." " Another 
time, Luther told of a soldier who had entrusted his 
money to his landlord in the Brandenburg ; but 
when he asked for it back, the latter denied ever 
having had it. The soldier in his rage assaulted 
him violently, and the knave had him taken up on a 
charge of having violated the domestic peace (Haus- 
friede). Whilst the soldier was in prison, the 
devil appeared to him, and said, ' To-morrow, thou 
wilt be condemned to death, and executed. If thou 
wilt sell me thy soul and body, I will set thee free.' 
The soldier refusing, the devil said to him, ' If 
thou wilt not, at any rate take the advice I give 
thee. To-morrow, when thou shalt be brought up 
for trial, I will be near you in a blue cap with a 
white feather. Ask the judge to allow me to plead 
for thee, and I will get thee out of the scrape.' 
The soldier did so ; and, on the morrow, as his 
landlord persisted iu denying all knowledge of the 
deposit, blue cap said to him, ' Friend, how canst 
thou perjure thyself so 1 The soldier's money is in 
thy bed under the bolstex'. Send some one to 
search, my lord judge, and the truth of what I say 
will be made manifest.' Accordingly the money 
was found there, and brought into court. On this, 
blue cap said with a grin, ' I knew that I should 
have either the one or the other,' and straightway 
twisted the landlord's neck, and bore him off." 
After telling this story, Luther added, that he dis- 
approved of all swearing by the devil, as many were 
in the habit of doing : " For," he said, " the varlet 
is never far ofif ; there is no need of painting him 
when he is always present." 

"There were two students at Erfurth; one of 
whom was so passionately fond of a girl as to be 
like to lose his wits. The other, who was a sorcerer, 
though his companion knew nothing of it, said, ' If 
you will promise not to kiss her or take her in 
your arms, I will get her to come to you,' and the 
intei'view took place. The lover, who was a fine 
young man, received her with so much passion, 
and spoke to her so tenderly, that the sorcerer was 
kept in a fever of fear lest he should embrace her, 
which, at last, unable to contain himself, he did : 



on the moment, she fell down dead. They were 
greatly alarmed ; but the sorcerer said, ' Let us try 
our last i-esource,' and then the devil, through his 
agency, reconveyed her home, where she continued 
to go about her usual occupations, but was deadly 
pale, and never uttered a word. After three days 
had passed thus, her parents sent for some godly 
ministers, who had no sooner interrogated the 
maid than the devil came out of her, and she fell 
down a stiff and offensive corpse." " Doctor Luke 
Gauric, the sorcerer you sent for from Italy, has 
often acknowledged to me that his master used to 
hold convei'sations with the devil." " The devil 
can take the form of either man or woman; so as 
to make a man think that he is lying with a woman 
of flesh and blood, when it is a vain form ; for, as 
St. Paul says, the devil is on good terms with the 
sons of perdition. As cliildren or devils are fre- 
quently the issue of such unions, commerce of the 
kind is revolting and horrible. Thus what we call 
the niv, lures women and virgins into the waters 
to procreate little devils. The devil, likewise, 
steals away children, during the first six weeks 
after their birth, and substitutes others in their 
place, called siipposititii, and, by the Saxons, k'U- 

" Eight years ago, I myself saw and touched a 
child at Dessau, that had no parents and had come 
of the devil. He was twelve years old, and alto- 
gether like any other child. He did nothing but 
eat; and would eat as much as any four working 
men. If any one touched him, he cried out as one 
possessed. If any thing went wrong in the house, 
he would laugh and be merry; but, when all went 
on well, he was always moping and in tears. I ob- 
served to the princes of Anhalt, ' Were I in 
authority here, I would have that child thrown 
into the Moldau, and run the risk of committing 
murder.' But the elector of Saxony and the 
princes thought differently. I then recommended 
them to have prayers offered up in the church, 
imploring the Lord to take away the demon; and 
prayers were daily put for a year, at the end of 
which time the child died." After the doctor had 
told this story, some one asked him, why he wish- 
ed to have the child thrown into the river. " Be- 
cause," he replied, " I believe childi-en of this kind 
to be nothing else than a soulless lump of flesh. The 
devil is able to produce such things, just as he can 
depi'ive men of their senses by taking possession 
of their bodies: in the same manner that he enters 
men and makes them deaf and dumb for a time, 
so does he enter and animate these lumps of 
flesh. The devil must be very powerful to keep 
our spirits pi'isoners on this wise. Origen, as I 
conceive, has not thoroughly comprehended this 
power; otherwise, he would not have thought that 
the devil might obtain pardon on the last day. 
What a deadly sin to have rebelled, knowingly, 
as he did, against his God, his Creator!" " There 
was a man in Saxony, near Halberstadt, who had 
a kilkropff. This child could drain its mother and 
five other women of their milk, and would devour 
whatever was given it besides. The man was 
advised to make a pilgrimage to Holckelstadt to 
vow his kilkropff io the Virgin Mary, and to have 
it nursed there. So he bore off his child in a 
basket; but, as he crossed a bridge, another devil 
that was in the river began crying out, 'Kilkropff ! 
kilkropff! ' The child in the basket, who had 

never been known to utter a single word, answer- 
ed, ' Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! ' The devil in the river then 
asked, ' Where are you going ? ' The child in the 
basket, who had never yet spoken a single word, 
answei'ed, ' I am going to Holckelstadt, to our 
dearest mother, to nurse.' The man, in his alarm, 
tossed child and basket into the river; on which 
the two devils made off together, crying out, ' Oh! 
Oh! Oh! ' and tumbling one over the othei-." 

One Sunday as Luther was going out of church 
he was accosted by a landsknecht, who complained 
of being constantly tempted of the devil, and told 
how he often came to him, and threatened to bear 
him away. Whilst he was telling his tale. Dr. 
Pomer, who was passing by, joined Luther in 
giving him words of comfort. " Despair not," 
they said ; " for despite the temptations of the 
devil, you are not his. Our Lord Jesus Christ 
was tempted of him as well, but by God's grace 
overcame him. Defend yourself, in like manner, 
by God's word and by prayer." Luther added, 
" When the devil torments you, and threatens to 
bear you off, answer, ' I am Jesus Clirist's, my 
Lord's ; in him I believe, and I shall one day be 
near him. He has himself said that no power can 
take Christians from his care.' Think more on 
God, who is in heaven, than on the devil ; and be 
no longer alarmed by his wiles. I know that he 
would be glad to bear you off, but he cannot. He 
is like a thief who longs to lay his hand on a rich 
man's strong box ; the will is not lacking, but the 
power. And even so, God will not allow the devil 
to do you any harm. Attend faithfully on the 
preaching of the divine word, pray fervently, 
work, avoid too much solitude, and you will see 
that God will deliver you from Satan, and preserve 
you of his fold." A farrier, a young man, asserted 
that a spectre constantly pursued him through the 
streets. Luther sent for him, and questioned him 
before many learned persons. The young man 
said that the spectre had reproached him with 
committing sacrilege, in having partaken the com- 
munion in both kinds, and had told him, " If you 
go back to your master's house, I will break your 
neck," and that he had therefore kept away for 
several days. The doctor, after much questioning, 
said, " Beware of lying, my friend ; fear God, 
attend the preaching of his word; return to your 
master's; apply yourself to your work; and if Satan 
troubles you again, say to him, ' I will not obey 
you, I will only obey God, who has called me to 
this way of life ; I will stick close to my work, and 
were an angel to come, he should not tempt me 
from it.' " 

Dr. Luthei', as he advanced in life, experienced 
ew temptations from men ; but, as he himself 
states, the devil would walk with him in the dormi- 
tory of the cloister, vex and tempt him. There 
were one or two devils who used to watch him, 
and when they could not reach his heart, they 
would clutch his head and torment it. . . " These 
things happened to me often. If I happened to 
have a knife in my hand, evil thoughts would enter 
my mind. Frequently I could not pray : the devil 
would drive me out of the room. For we have to 
do with great devils, who are doctors of divinity. 
The Turks and the papists have devilkins, who 
are no doctors, but only lawyers." ..." I know, 
thanks to God, that my cause is good and holy. 
If Christ is not in heaven, and is not Lord of the 




world, I am in a bad predicament. The devil 
often presses me so hard in dispute, that I break 
out into a sweat. I am kept conscious of his con- 
stant animosity. He lies closer to me than my 
Catherine, and troubles me more than she joys 
me. ... At times, he urges, ' The Law is also 
God's word ;• why always oppose the Gospel to it V 
' Yes,' say I in my turn, ' but it is as far from the 
Gospel as earth from heaven.' " " The devil, in 
truth, has not graduated full doctor, still he is 
very learned and deeply experienced ; for he has 
been pi-actising his trade these six thousand years. 
If the devil have sometimes come out of those 
possessed when conjured by monks and popish 
priests, leaving some sign after him, as a broken 
pane of glass, or a strip of wall thrown down, it 
was only to make people suppose that he had quitted 
the body, but, in reality, to take possession of the 
mind, and to confirm men in their superstitions." \ 

In January, 1532, Luther fell dangerously ill ; 
and the physician feared it would end in apo- 
plectic seizure. Melanchthon and Rozer, who 
were near his bed, happening to allude to the joy 
which the news of his death would occasion the 
papists, he said to them with an assured tone, " I 
know for a surety I shall not die yet. God will 
not at present-confirm the abomination of papistry 
by my death. He will not, after those of Zwingle 
and CEcolampadius, grant the papists fresh cause 
for triumph, Satan's whole thought, it is true, is 
to make away with me ; he never quits me. I3ut 
it is not his will which will be fulfilled, but the 
sword's !" " My illness — vertigoes and other at- 
tacks of the kind — is not natural. Whatever I take 
does me no good, although I am careful to observe 
my physician's advice." In 1536, he ofliciated at 
the marriage of duke Philip of Pomerania with 
the elector's sister, at Torgau. In the middle of 
the ceremony, the wedding-ring slipped from his 
hand and rolled on the ground. He was terror- 
struck for a moment, but recovered, saying, 
" Hearken, devil, this is no business of thine, 'tis 
trouble lost," and he went on with the service. 
"Whilst Dr. Luther was talking at table with 
some friends, his wife, who had gone out, fell into 
a swoon. When she came to herself, the doctor 
enquired what her thoughts had been like ; and 
she related how she had experienced those peculiar 
temptations which are the certain signs of death, 
and which strike at the heart more surely than 
ball or arrow. ... * I advise,' he said, ' all who 
feel such temptations, to encourage lively thoughts, 
to take a cheerful draught, to take recreation, or 
else apply themselves to some honourable study ; 
but the best remedy, is to believe in Jesus Christ.' " 
" When the devil finds me idle and inattentive to 
God's word, he then vexes me by suggesting 
scruples as to the lawfulness of my doctrine, as to 
my having humbled and reduced authority, and 
been the cause of so many scandals and dis- 
turbances. But when 1 lay hold on God's word 
again, then I win the match. I battle with the 
devil, and say, ' What is all the world to God, 
however great it may be ! He has made his Son 
its lord and king. If the world seek to depose 
him, God will reduce it to ashes. Kiss the Son, 
lest he be amjry. . . Be wise noic, therefore, ye kings, 
TAKE YOURSELVES TO TASK, ye judges of the eca-tii," 
(the erudimini, be instructed, of the Vulgate, is 
less forcible). . .."Above all, the devil strives to 

deprive me of my doctrine on the remission of 

sins. ' What /' he suggests, 'preach what no one 
has taught for all these centuries ! Shotdd it be offen- 
sive to God .'' " ..." Of a night, when I awake, 
the devil soon comes and begins arguing with me, 
and putting strange thoughts into my head, until I 

fly into a passion, and say, ' Kiss my ; God is 

not as vexed with me as tbou sayest !' " This 
moi-ning when I awoke, the devil said to me, 
' Thou art a sinner.' I answered, ' Tell me some- 
thing new, demon, I knew that before. . . I have 
enow real sins to answer for without thy inventing 
others for me.' ... He went on with, ' What 
hast thou done with the monasteries V To which 
I replied, " What's that to thee ? Thou seest 
that thy accursed worship goes on as ever ?' " 

The conversation turning one evening at supper 
on the sorcerer Faustus, Luther said, in a serious 
manner, " The devil does not use enchanters 
against me. If he could injure me by their 
means, he would long since. He has often laid 
hold of me by the head, but has been forced 
to let me go. I have had ample experience what 
kind of companion the devil is. He has often 
squeezed me so hard, that I have not known 
whether I was dead or alive. At times, he has 
cast me into such despair, that I have not known 
whether there was a God, and have utterly 
doubted our dear Lord. But, with the aid of 
God's word," &c. " The devil sets the law, sin, 
and death, before my eyes, compels me to ponder 
on this trinity, and makes use of it to torment 
me." "The devil has sworn my death ; but he 
will crack a hollow nut." " The temptation of the 
flesh is little ; the remedy at hand. Eustochia 
would have cured St. Jerome. But God shield 
us from the great temptations which involve eter- 
nity ! Tried by them, one knows not whether 
God be the devil, or the devil God. Such trials 
are not passing ones." " When I incline to think 
on worldly or family matters, I recur to a psahn, 
or some comfortable saying of St. Paul's, and 
sleep thereon. But the thoughts suggested by the 
devil are harder to be overcome ; and I can only 
escape from them by some buff'oonery or other." 
" The barleycorn suff'ers much from man. It is 
first cast into the earth to rot ; then, when it is 
ripe, it is cut, threshed, dried, and steeped, in 
order to turn it into beer, for drunkards to 
swill. Flax is, also, a martyr in its way. When 
ripe, it is plucked up, steeped, dried, beaten, 
heckled, carded, spun, woven, and made up into 
cloth for shirts and shifts, &c. When these ai-e 
worn out, the rags are used for lint, or for spread- 
ing plasters for sores, or for tinder, or are sold to 
the paper-maker, who bruises, dissolves, and then 
converts them into paper, which is devoted to 
writing, or to printing, or to making playing cards, 
and lastly, is torn up and applied to the vilest uses. 
These plants, as well as other creatures, which are 
very useful to us, have much to suff'er. Even so, 
good and pious Christians have much to endure 
from the wicked and impious." 

" When the devil comes to me of a night, I give 
■^ira these and the like answers, and say, 'Devil ! I 
must now sleep, for the same is God's command 
and ordinance, to labour by day, and to rest and 
sleep by night.' Then, if he charge me with being 
a sinner, 1 say to spite him, ' Holy Satan, pray for 
me ;' or else, ' Physician, cure thyself!' " " If you 



would comfoi't one who is tempted, you must kill 
Moses and stone him ; if, ou the contrary, he 
becomes himself again, and forgets his temptation, 
you must preach the law to him ; for 'affliction is 
not to be added to the afflicted.' " " The best way 
to expel the devil, if he will not depart for texts 
from Holy Scripture, is to jeer and flout him." 
" Those tried by temptations may be comforted by 
generous living ; but this will not do for all, espe- 
cially not for the young. As for myself, who am 
now in years, a cheerful cup will drive away my 
temptations, and give me a sound sleep." " The 
best cure for temptations is to begin talking about 
other matters, as of Marcolphus, the Eulenspiegel, 
and other drolleries of the kind, &c. The devil 
is a melancholy spirit, and cheerful music soon 
puts him to flight." 

The following important document is in a man- 
ner the history of the obstinate war which Satan 
waged upon Luther the whole of his life : 

Preface written by Doctor Martin Luther be- 
fore his death. " Whoever reads with attention 
ecclesiastical history, the books of the holy 
fathers, and particularly the Bible, will see 
clearly, that ever since the commencement of 
the Church events have always taken the same 
turn. Wherever the word of God has made itself 
heard, and God has brought together a band of 
the faithful, the devil has quickly perceived the 
divine ray, and has begun to chafe, and blow, and 
raise tempests from every quarter, trying, with all 
his might, to extinguish the same. In vain we 
stop up one or two rents; he will find another 
and another; still noise and ever mischief. There 
never yet has been an end to this, and there never 
will, till the day of judgment. I hold that I my- 
self (let alone the ancients) have undergone more 
than twenty hurricanes, twenty diff"erent assaults 
of the devil. First, I had the papists against me. 
Every one knows, I suppose (pretty nearly), how 
many tempests of books and of bulls the devil has, 
through them, hurled against me, and in what a 
terrible manner they have devoured and torn me 
to pieces. It is true that I also sometimes blew, 
gently though, against them; but it was no good; 
they were the more irritated, and blew again more 
violently, vomiting forth flames and fire. It has 
been so, without interruption, to this present hour. 
I had begun to hope for a calm from these out- 
breaks of the devil, when he made a fresh attack 
through Miinzer and his revolt, which failed though 
to extinguish the light. Chx-ist himself healed that 
breach; when, lo ! in the person of Carlstadt, he 
came and broke my window-panes. There he was, 
bellowing and storming, so that I thought he was 
come to put out light, wax, and tinder at once. 
But God was at hand to aid his poor little light, 
nor would he permit it to be extinguished. Then 
came the Sacramentarians and the Anabaptists, 
who broke open doors and windows to put out this 
light. Again it was in great danger, but, thanks 
be to God, their spite was again disappointed. 
Others, again, have raged against the old masters, 
against the pope, and Luther, all at once, as Ser- 
vetus, Campanus. ... As to those who have not 
assailed me publicly in printed books, but from 
whom I have borne in private letters and discourses 
filled with indignities, I shall not attempt to enume- 
rate them here. It is enough to say that I have 
now learned, by experience (I would not believe 

the accounts from history), that the Church, for 
the love of the word and of the blessed light, must 
never expect repose, but be ever on the look-out 
for fresh outrages from the devil; for so it has 
been from the beginning. 

" And though I should live a hundred years 
longer, and should quiet all these storms, past, pre- 
sent, and to come, I see clearly that this would not 
secure rest for those who come after me, so long as 
the devil lives and reigns. Therefore it is that I 
pray God to grant me to live one short hour in a 
state of grace; I ask no longer life. You who 
come after us pray to God with fervour, and dili- 
gently walk in his commandments. Guard well the 
poor candle of the Lord, for the devil neither sleeps, 
rests, and will not die until the final judgment. 
You and I shall die; and, after we are gone, he will 
be the same that he has always been, ever raging 
against the Gospel. ... I see him from afar, 
blowing, puffing, and swelling out his cheeks, till he 
becomes red in the face; but our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, who, at the beginning, smote him on 
his audacious visage, still maintains the combat 
with him, and will for ever. He who cannot lie 
has said: 'I will be with you to the end of the 
world; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
thee.' And in St. John he says: 'My sheep shall 
never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of 
my hand.' And again, in St. Matthew, x.; 'All the 
hairs of your head are counted.' . . . ' Fear not, 
then, for those who can kill the body.' Neverthe- 
less, it is commanded us to watch and keep this 
light as long as it is in us. It is said: ' Vigilate ; 
the devil is as a I'oaring lion, seeking whom he may 
devour.' Such was he when St. Peter pronounced 
this of him, and such he is and will be to the end 
of the world. . . ." 

(Luther then reverts to the subject of succour 
from God, without which, all our efforts are vain, 
and he continues thus :) " You and I were 
nothing a thousand years ago, and yet the Church 
has been saved without us, It has been so through 
the power of him of whom it is said : He7i nt hodie. 
It is the same now ; it is not we who preserve thf 
Church, for we could not reach the devil who is 
in the pope, and in seditious and all wicked people. 
The Church would pei'ish before our eyes, and we 
with her, was it not for some higher power that 
protects it. We must leave Him to act, of whom it 
is said. Qui erit heri, nt hodie. (The same yesterday, 
and to-day, and for ever.) It is a lamentable thing to 
see our pride and our audacity, after the terrible and 
shameful examples of those, who, in their vanity, 
have believed that the Church was built upon 
themselves. ... To speak only of these times, 
how did Miinzer end ? he who thought the Church 
would fall if he were not here to suppoi't and go- 
vern it ? And more recently still, have not the 
Anabaptists been a terrible and sufficient warning 
to us, to remind us how subtle a devil is at our 
elbow, how dangerous are our high thoughts, and 
how needful it is (as Isaiah says), that we look well 
into our hands when we pick up anything, to see if 
it be God or an idol, gold or clay ? But all these 
warnings are lost upon us ; we go on in full secu- 
rity. Yes, without doubt, the devil is far from us ; 
we have none of the same flesh which was even in 
St. Paul, and from which he could not separate 
himself, spite of all his efforts. (Rom. vii.) But we, 
we are heroes; we need not trouble ourselves about 

the flesh, and carnal thoughts; we are pure spirits, 
we liold captives at once the flesh and the devil, 
and whatever comes into our heads, is the im- 
maculate inspiration of the Holy Ghost. And this 
all ends so well, that horse and rider both break 
their necks, 

" The Papists, I know, will here tell me, ' Well ! 
thou seest ; it is thou that complainest of troubles 
and seditions ! Who has caused them, if not thou 
and thy doctrine V Behold the cunning artifice by 
which they think to overthrow Luther's doctrine 
from top to bottom. It matters not ! let them ca- 
lumniate ; let them lie as much as they will ; they 
must, at last, hold their peace. According to this 
grand argument, all the prophets also were here- 
tical and seditious, for they were held as such by 
their own people ; as such, they were persecuted, 
and mostly put to death. Jesus Christ, our Lord, 
was himself obliged to hear it said by the Jews, 
and in particular by the high priests, the pharisees, 
and scribes, &c., by those highest in power, that 
he had a devil, that he cast out devils by other de- 
vils, that he was a Samaritan, the companion of 
publicans and sinners. He was also, in the end, 
condemned to die upon the cross for blasphemy 
and sedition. ' Which of the prophets,' said St. 
Stephen to the Jews, who were about to stone him, 
* which have not your fathers persecuted and slain ? 
and you, their chiMren, ye have sold and killed 
that Just One, whose coming those prophets fore- 
told.' The apostles and the disciples have not 
fared better than their Master; and his predictions 
were fulfilled in them. . . If thus it must be, and 
Scripture assures us it must, why be astonished if 
we also, who in these terrible times preach Jesus, 
and declare ourselves his followers, are, like him, 
persecuted and condemned as heretics, and dis- 
turbers of the public peace ! What are we com- 
pared with these sublime spirits, enlightened by 
the Holy Ghost, endowed with so many admirable 
gifts, and with so fervent a faith ? . . . Let us, then, 
not be ashamed of the calumnies and injuries with 
which our enemies pursue us. Let all this be 
without terror for us. But let us regard it as our 
highest glory to receive from the world the same re- 
ward which the saints have had from the beginning, 
for their faithful services. Let us rejoice in God 
that we also, poor sinners, and despised of men, 
have been thought worthy to suffer ignominy for 
Christ's name's sake ! . . . 

" The papists, with their grand argument, are 
like a man who should say that if God had not 
created good angels, there would have been no 
devils ; because, it was from among the good 
angels that they came. In like manner, Adam 
accused God of having given him the woman; as 
if, had God not created Adam and Eve, they would 
not have sinned. It would follow, from this fine 
reasoning, that God alone was the sinner, and 
that Adam and his children were all pure, and 
pious, and holy. From Luther's doctrine there 
have arisen many troublesome and rebellious 
spirits; therefore, they say Luther's doctrine is of 
the devil. But St. John says also (1 Ep. ii.): ' They 
went out from us, but are not of us.' Judiis was 
one of Christ's disciples; then, according to their 
argument, Jesus Christ is a devil. No heretic has 
ever gone out from the pagans ; they have gone out 
from the holy Christian Church ; the Church, 
therefore, must be the work of the devil! It was 

the same with the Bible under the pope; it was 
publicly denounced as an heretical book, and 
accused of giving couutenance to the most damnable 
errors. And now the cry is ' The Church ! the 
Church! against and above the Bible!' Emser, 
j the wise Emser, did not know well what to say 
I about the Bible being translated into German: per- 
haps he had not made up his mind whether it were 
i right it should ever have Jieen written in Hebrew, 
i Greek, or Latin. The Bible and the Church do not 
I agree too well together. If, then, the Bible, the book 
; and the word of the Holy Ghost, basso much to en- 
dure from them, what have we to complain of their- 
imputing to us the heresies and seditions which 
break out ? The spider draws its poison from the 
sweet and lovely rose, where the bee finds only 
honey. Is it the fault of the flower, if its honey 
turns to poison in the spider ? 
I " It is, as the proverb says, * The dog we want 
to punish has stolen some meat;' or, as ^sop 
[ finely says, 'The sheep that the wolf would eat has 
troubled the waters, although standing at the 
i bottom of the stream.' They who have filled the 
\ Church with errors, bloodshed, lies, and murder, 
are not the troublers of the waters; but we — we 
who have withstood sedition and heresy. Wolf, 
eat; eat, my friend, and may a bone stick in thy 
throat. . . . They cannot act differently; such is 
the world and its god. If they have called the 
master of the house Beelzebub, will they treat his 
servants better ? And if the Holy Scriptures have 
been called heretical, how can we expect oui- 
books to be honoured ? The living God is the 
judge of all; he will one day make it clear whether 
we are to believe the witness of this heretical book 
called the Holy Scriptures. 

" May Jesus Christ, our beloved Saviour and 
keeper of our souls, bought by his precious blood, 
keep his little flock faithful to his holy word; to the 
end that it may increase, and grow in grace, in know- 
ledge, and in faith. May he vouchsafe to support 
it against the temptations of Satan and this world, 
and to take pity on the profound lamentations and 
the agonizing longings with which it sighs for the 
happy day of the glorious coming of our Saviour, 
when the fury and murderous bites of the serpents 
shall cease at last; and for the children of God 
shall begin that revelation of liberty and heavenly 
bliss for which we hope, and for which we wait 
with longsuffering and patience. Amen. Amen." 



DEATH, A.D. 1546. 

"Both tooth-ache and earache are cruel ail- 
ments ; I would rather have the plague or the . 

When I was at Coburg, in 1530, I suff'ered much 
from a noise and whizzing in my ears, as if wind 
was escaping from my head. . . . The devil had a 
hand in it." " When ill, one should eat well, and 
drink wine." He treated himself on this plan at 
Smalkalde, in 1537. A man complaining to him 
one day of the itch, Luther said, " I would give 
ten florins to change with you ; you know not how 
distressing vertigo is. At this very moment, I 
am unable to read a letter through at once, 




indeed, I cannot read more than two or three 
lines of my Psalter ; for when I make the attempt, 
such a buzzing comes on in my ears, that I am 
often on the point of falling from my seat. The 
itch, on the contrary, is a useful thing," &c. 

At dinner, after preaching at Smalkalde, he was 
attacked by a violent fit of the stone, and prayed 
fervently : " my God, my Lord Jesus, thou 
knowest how zealously I have taught thy word. 
If it be for the glory of thy vame, come to my aid ; 
if not, deign to close my eyes. / shall die the 
enemy of thy enemies, and hating the accursed one, 
the pope, who has set himself above Christ." He 
then improvised four Latin verses on the subject. 
" My head swims so, and is so weak, that I can no 
longer read or write, especially fasting." (Feb. 9th, 
1543.) " I am weak, and weary of life, and think 
of bidding farewell to the world, which is now 
wholly the devil's. May the Lord grant me favour- 
able weatlier and a happy passage. Amen !" 
(March 14th.) 

To Amsilorff. " I am writing to thee after sup- 
per ; for, fasting, I cannot even look at a book 
without danger. I am much surprised at this 
illness of mine, and know not whether it be a 
buffet of Satan's, or a natural wealmess." (August 
18th.) " 1 believe my true malady to be old age ; 
and, next to this, my overpowering labours and 
thoughts, but, mainly, the Ijuffets of Satan ; and 
all the physic in the world cannot cure me of 
these." (Nov. 7th, 1543.) 

To Spcdatin. " I must say, that in all my life, 
and all my cares about the Gospel, I have never 
gone through so troubled a year as that which has 
just ended. I have a tremendous quarrel on 
hand with the lawyers on the subject of private 
marriages ; in those whom I had believed to be 
stedfast friends of the Gospel, I find cruel enemies. 
Dost thou think that this is no pain to me, dear 
Spalatin ?" (Jan. 30th, 1544.) " I am idle, worn 
out, cold ; that is to say, old and useless. I have 
finished my journey ; it only remains for the Lord 
to gather me to my fathers, and to render unto 
corruption and the worms their share in me. I 
am satiated with life, if this be life. Pray for me, 
that my last moments may be salutary to myself 
and acceptable unto God. My only thoughts about 
the empei'or and the empire are commending 
them to God in my prayers. The world seems to 
me to have arrived at its last hour, and, to use the 
psalmist's expression, to have grown old like a 
garment ; and now is the time come that we must 
change it." (Dec. 5th, 1544.) " Had I known at 
the beginning what enemies men are to God's 
word, I should indisputably have been silent, and 
held my peace. I imagined they only sinned 
through ignorance." 

He once said, " Nobles, citizens, peasants, I 
might add almost all men, think they know the 
Gospel better than Dr. Luther or St. Paul himself; 
and look down on pastors, rather on the Lord and 
Master of pastors. . . . The nobles seek to govern, 
and yet know not how. The pope knows how to 
govern, and does govern. The least papist is more 
capable of governing than — I cry them mercy — 
ten of our court nobles." Luther was one day told 
that there were six hundred rich cures vacant in 
the bishopric of Wurtzburg. " No good will come 
of this," he said. " It will be the same with us if we 
go on despising God's word and his servants. If I 

desired to become rich, all I should have to do would 
be not to preach. . . The ecclesiastical visitors asked 
the peasants wherefore they would not support 
their pastors, when they kept cowherds and swine- 
herds ? ' Oh !' they said, ' we want these ; we 
cannot do without them.' They thought they 
could do without pastors." 

For six months Luther preached in his house to 
his own family every Sunday, but not in the 
church. "I do this," he said to Dr. Jonas, "to 
clear my conscience, and discharge my duty as 
the father of a family. But I know and see that 
God's word will not be more minded here than in 
church." " You will have to succeed me as 
preacher, Dr. Jonas ; think on it, and acquit 
yourself well." He walked out of church one day, 
in anger at the people's talking (a.d. 1545). On 
the 1 6th of February, 1546, Luther remarked that 
Aristotle had written no better book than the fifth 
of his Ethica, where he gives this beautiful defi- 
nition, " The virtue of justice consists in mode- 
ration, as regulated by wisdom." (This eulogium 
on moderation in the last year of Luther's life 
is very remarkable.) 

The count von Mansfeld's chancellor, on his 
return from the diet of Frankfort, said at Luther's 
table, at Eisleben, that the emperor and the pope 
were sudden in their proceedings against the bishop 
of Cologne, Herman, and were thinking of expelling 
him from his electorate. On this, Luther said, 
" They have lost the game. Unable to do aught 
against us with God's word and Holy Scripture, 
they are attacking us with wisdom, violence, craft, 
practisings, deceit, force and arms {ergo xolunt sa- 
pientia, t'lolentia, astutia, practica, dolo, vi et armis 
pugnare). What says our Lord to this ? He sees 
that he is only a poor scholar, and he .says, ' What 
will become of my son and I ?' . . . For me, when 
they shall kill me, they must first eat ... I enjoy 
a great advantage ; my lord is called Schlejiemini ; 
it is he who said, I will call ye up on the last day 
{ego siisc'itabo ros in norissimo die) ; and he will then 
say. Dr. Martin, Dr. Jonas, Sir Michael Coelius 
come to me, and he will call each of you by your own 
name, as the Lord Christ says in St. John, And he 
calls them by their names. Be ye, then, without fear. 
.... God holds a fine hand of cards, which is com- 
posed only of kings, princes, &c. He shuffles the 
cards, for instance, the pope with Luther; and then 
he does as children, who, after having held the cards 
for a time in vain, tire of the game and throw them 
under the table." " The woi'ld is like a drunken 
peasant: put him up on his saddle on one side, he 
tumbles over on the other. No matter what way 
you set about it, you can't help him. The world 
will be the devil's." 

Lutlier often said that it would be a great disgrace 
to the pope were he to die in his bed. " All of you, 
thou pope, thou devil, ye kings, princes, and lords, 
are Luther's enemies, and yet you can do him no 
harm. It was not so with John Huss. I take it 
that there has not been a man so hated as I for 
these hundred years. I, too, hate the world. In 
the whole round of life, there is nothing which 
gives me pleasure ; I am sick of living. May our 
Lord then come quickly, and take me with him. 
May he, above all, come with his day of judgment. 
I would stretch forth my neck ... so that he 
hurled his thunderbolt and I were at rest. . . ." 
He proceeds to console himself for the ingratitude 



of the world, by reflecting on the fates of Moses, 
Samuel, St. Paul, and of Christ. A guest of his 
said, that if the world were to last fifty years, many 
things might yet turn up. " God forbid," exclaimed 
Luther, " it would be worse than all the past. 
Thei-e would arise many other sects, which are now 
hidden within the hearts of men. May the Lord 
come, and cut all this short, for there is no hope of 
improvement !" " Life will be such a burthen, 
that there will be one universal cry from all the 
corners of the earth, ' Good God ! come with the 
day of judgment !' And, happening to have in his 
hand a chaplet of white agates, he added, ' God 
grant that day may soon come. I would eat this 
chaplet to have it to be to-morrow." 

Speaking at his table of eclipses, and the little 
influence they appeai-ed to have on the death of 
kings and other great people, the doctor replied, 
"You are right; eclipses no longer pi'oduce any 
sensible effects ; and I think myself that our 
Saviour will come soon to veritable effects; and 
that ere long the judgment will put an end to all 
our cogitations, and all things else. I dreamt it was 
so the other day while I lay asleep in the afternoon, 
and I said then in pace in id ipsum requiescam seu 
dormiam. The day of judgment must soon come; 
for that the papal Church should reform is an im- 
possibility, neither will the Turks and Jews. ... In 
fact, there is no real improvement in the state of 
the empire; and see, for thirty years now have 
they assembled diets without deciding on any 
thing. ... I often think when ruminating in my 
walks of what I ought to ask in my prayers for the 
diet. The bishop of Mentz is naught; the pope 
is lost for ever. I see nothing else to be done but 
to say, ' Lord, thy kingdom come 1 ' " 

" Poor, helpless creatures that we are, we eat 
our bread but in sin. Our first seven years of life 
we do nothing but eat, drink, sleep, and play. 
Thence to one-and-twenty, we go to school three 
iir four hours a day; then follow as our passions 
lead — love or drink. After this, only, we begin 
seriously to work. Towards fifty, we have done, 
and turn children again! Add to all this that we 
sleep away half of our lives! Oh! out upon us! 
Out of our lives we do not give even a tithe to 
God; and do we think to merit Heaven by our 
good works ? What have I been doing now 1 
I have been prating for two hours, have been eat- 
ing for three, and have been idle for four ! Ah ! 
Domine, ne intres in judicium cum servo Uio." (Oh! 
Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant.) 
After detailing all his sufferings to Melanchthon, 
he exclaims, " Please God to take my soul in the 
peace of Christ, by the grace of God I am ready to 
go; yea, desirous. I have lived and have finished 
the course marked out for me by God. . . . Oh 
may my soul, which is weary of its long pilgrim- 
age, now be suffered to mount to heaven." (April 
18th, 1541.) 

" I have not much time, my dear Probst, to 
write, for I am overcome by fatigue and old 
age: alt, halt, ungestalt (old, cold, mouldy), as they 
say. Nevertheless, rest T cannot have, beset as I 
am by so many reasons and obligations to write. 
[ know more than you can of the fataUties that 
await this age. The world is threatened with 
ruin; it is inevitable; the more the devil is allowed 
•o roam, the more brutish the world becomes. 
There is but one consolation left us; it is that this 

day is nigh. The world has been sated with God's 
word, and taken a strange antipathy to it. Fewer 
false prophets arise. Why raise up new heresies 
when there is an epicurean disdain of the world? 
Germany is dead; she will never again be what she 
has been. The nobles only think of extorting; the 
towns think but of themselves (and with reason): 
so that the kingdom is divided against itself, just 
when it ought to be confronting the legion of un- 
chained devils which compose the Turkish army. 
We seem to care little if God be for or agaijist us, 
and think we shall triumph by our own strength 
over Turks, the devils, God, and every thing: such 
are the overweening confidence and stupid security 
of expiring Germany! And we, what can we do 
in the matter ? Complaints and tears are equally 
fruitless. All that is left for us to do is to reiterate 
the prayer, ' Thy will be done * ! ' " (March 26th, 
1542.) " I see, in every one, an indomitable 
cupidity, which to me seems one sign of the 
approach of the last day. It is as if the world in 
its old age and at its last gasp, became delirious; as 
so often happens with the dying." (March 8th, 
1544.) " I do believe that I am that great trum- 
pet which prefaces and announces the coming of 
our Lord. Therefore, weak and failing as I may 
be, and small as may be the sound that I can 
make this world hear, my voice rings in the ears 
of the angels in heaven, who will take up the 
strain after us and complete the solemn call ! 
Amen, and Amen." (August 6th, 1545.) 

During the last years of Luther's life, liis 
enemies often spread reports of his death ; with 
the addition of the most singular and ti-agic cir- 
cumstances. To refute these, Luther had print- 
ed in 1545, in German and Italian, a pamphlet 
entitled Lies of the Goths, touching the death of 
Dr. Martin Luther. " I tell Dr. Bucer before- 
hand, that whoever, after my death, shall despise 
the authority of this school and this church, will 
be a heretic and unbeliever; for it was here first 
that God purified his word and again made it 
known. . . . Who could do any thing twenty-five 
years since ? Who was on my side twenty-one 
years ago ? " "I often count, and find that I 
approach nearer and nearer to the forty years, at 
the end of which I believe all this will end. St. 
Paul only preached for forty years; and so the pro- 
phet Jeremiah, and St. Augustin. And when each 
of these forty years had come to an end, in which 
they had preached the word of God, it was no 
longer listened to, iind great calamities followed." 

The aged electress, when he was last at her 
table, wished him forty years more of life. " I 
would not have Heaven," said he, " on condition 

that I must live forty years longer I have 

nothing to do with doctors now. It seems they 
have settled that I am to live one year longer ; so 
that I won't make my life a torment, but, in God's 
name, eat and drink what I please." — " I would 
my adversaries would put an end to me; for my 
death now would be of more service to the Church 
than my life." (February 16th, 1546.) The con- 
versation running much on death and sickness, 

* These sad and desponding reflections may almost be 
traced in tlie beautiful portrait of Luther, in the collection of 
Zimmer, the publisher of Heidelberg. This painting also 
expresses the strain produced by the continuation of long 
and anxious exertions. 



during his last visit to Eisleben, he said, " If I 
return to Witteniberg, I shall soon be in my coftui, 
and then I shall give the worms a good meal on a 
fat doctor." Two days after this he died, at 

Luther's impromptu on the frailty of life: — 

" Dat vitrum vitro Jonae {vitrum ipse) Lutherus, 
Se similem ut fragili noscat uterque vitro." 

We leave these verses in Latin, as they would lose 
all their merit in translation, 

A Note written at Eisleben two days before his 
death : — 

" No one can comprehend Virgil's Bucolics, who 
has not been five years a shepherd." 

" No one can understand Virgil's Georgics, who 
has not been five years a husbandman." 

" No one can comprehend Cicero's letters, if he 
has not lived twenty years a politician and states- 

" Let no one imagine that he has mastered Holy 
Scripture, who has not, for a hundred years, 
governed the affairs of the Church, with Ellas and 
Elisha, with John the Baptist, with Christ and his 

" Hanc tu ne divinam jEneida tenta, 
Sed vestigia pronus adora." 

" We are all poor mendicants Hoc est 

verum. 16 Februarii, anno 1546." 

Prediction of the reverend, father. Doctor Martin 
Luther, written in his own hand, and found after his 
death, in his library, by those whotn the most illustrious 
elector of Saxony, John Frederic /., had entrusted to 
search it. 

" The time is arrived, at which, according to an- 
cient predictions, there must arise after the ap- 
pearing of Antichrist, men who will live without 
God in the world, every one after his own devices. 
The pope has long considered himself a god above 
God; and now all wish to do without God, and 
especially the Papists. Even we, now that we are 
free from the law of the pope, seek to deliver our- 
selves from the law of God, and follow only fickle 
politicians, and this only so far as our own caprice 
dictates. We imagine the times far off of which 
such things are predicted ; but I say they are now 
at hand ; these godless men are ourselves. There 
are amongst us some, who so impatiently desire the 
day of Man, as to have begun to exclude fi'om the 
church the decalogue and the law ; of these are 
Master Eisleben (Agi-icola), &c. I am not uneasy 
about the papists ; they flatter the pope, out of 
hatred to us, and thereby to gain power until they 
will become a terror to the poor pope. ... I feel 
great satisfaction when I see these flatterers laying 
snares for the pope, more to be dreaded by him 
than I myself, who am his declared enemy. It is 
the same with us ; my own people give me far 
more care and trouble than all the whole papacy 
together, which henceforth is powerless against us. 
So true it is, that when an empire is about to fall 
to ruin, it is chiefly through its own preponderating 
weight. Rome, for instance, 

" Mole ruit sua .... 
.... Corpus magnum populumque potentem 
In sua victrici conversum viscera dextra." 

Towards the latter end of his life, Luther took 
a dislike to Wittemberg. He wrote to his wife, in 

July, 1545, from Leipzig, where he was staying : 
" Grace and peace to you, my dear Catherine ! our 
John will tell you of our joui-ney hither; Ernest von 
Schonfeldt received us very kindly at Lobnitz, and 
our friend Scherle still more warmly here. I 
would fain so manage as never to retui'n to Wit- 
temberg. I have no longer any affection for that 
town, and I do not like to live there any longer. I 
wish you to sell the cottage with the court and gar- 
den ; I will give back to my gracious lord the large 
house he was so good as to give me, and we will 
settle ourselves at Zeilsdorf. We can put our land 
in good order by laying out my stipend upon it, 
as I think my lord will not fail to continue it at 
least for one year ; the which, I firmly believe, 
will be the last I shall live. Wittemberg is be- 
come an actual Sodom, and I will not return thither. 
The day after to-morrow I am going to Merseburg, 
on count George's pressing invitation. I would 
rather pass my life on the high roads, or in begging 
my bread, than have my last moments tormented 
by the sight of the depravity of Wittemberg, where 
all my pains and labour are thrown away. You 
can communicate this to PhiHp and to Pomer, whom 
I beg to bless the town iu my name. For my 
part, I can no longer live there." It requu-ed the 
most earnest entreaties of his friends, of the whole 
university, and of the elector, to make him re- 
nounce this resolution ; he returned to Wittem- 
berg on the 18th of August. 

Luther was not allowed to die in peace ; his last 
days were painfully employed in the endeavour to 
reconcile the two Counts von Mansfeld, whose 
subject he was born. He writes to count Albert, 
promising him to be at Eisleben: "Eight days more 
or less will not stop me, although I am much oc- 
cupied elsewhere. I should rest in peace in my 
grave if I could first see my dear masters recon- 
ciled and made friends." (December 6th, 1545.) 

(Fi'om Eisleben.) " To the very learned, and very 
profound lady Catherine Luther, my gracious icife. 
Dear Catherine, we are much tormented here, and 
should not be sorry to get home; however, we must, 
I think, remain another eight days. You can say 
to Master Philip, that he will not do amiss to cor- 
rect his commentary on the Gospel, for in writing 
it, he did not know why our Lord, in the Gospel, 
calls riches, thorns. This is the school where 
such things are learnt. The Holy Scripture 
threatens evei'ywhere the thorns of eternal fire ; 
this terrifies me, and teaches me patience, for 
I must, with the help of God, make every effort to 
end well. . . ." (February 6th, 1546.) 

" To the gracious lady Catherine Luther, my beloved 
wife, who torments herself by far too much. Grace 
and peace in the Lord. Dear Catherine ! You must 
read St. John, and what is said iu the catechism 
of the trust we ought to put in God. You alarm 
yourself as if God was not all powerful, and as if 
he could not make doctors Martin by dozens, if the 
first should be drowned in the Saal, or perish in 
any other manner. I have One that takes care of 
me better than thou, or any of the angels could do. 
One who is seated at the right hand of God Al- 
mighty. Be comforted then. Amen. ... I in- 
tended setting out yesterday, in ird mea .- but the 
misery in which 1 find my native country detains 
me. Would you believe it ? I am become a 
lawyer. However, it will not answer any great 
end ; it would have been better had they left me 

A.D. 1546. 



a theologian. They stand in singular need of 
having their pride humbled ; they talk and act as 
if they were gods; but if they go on so, I fear they 
they will become devils. Lucifer was lost by his 

pride, &c Show this letter to Philip; I 

have not time to write to him separately." (Feb- 
ruary 7th, 1546.) 

" To my gentle and dear iclfe, Catherine Luther von 
Bora. Grace and peace in our Lord. Dear Cathe- 
rine, God willing, we hope to i-eturn to you this 
week. He has shown the power of his grace in 
this affair. The lords are agreed upon all points, 
with the exception of one or two ; among others, 
upon the reconciliation of the two brothers, counts 
Gebhard and Albert. I am to dine with them 
to-day, and I shall endeavour to make them truly 
brothers again. They have written against each 
other with great bitterness, and have not exchanged 
a word dui-ing the conferences. However, our 
young lords are very gay, going about in sledges 
with the ladies, with bells tinkling at their horses' 
heads. God has heard our prayers ! I send you 
some trout, a present from the countess Albert. 
This lady is well pleased to see peace restored in 
her family. . . . The rumour runs here that the 
emperor is advancing towards Westphalia, and 
that the French are enlisting landsknechts, as well 
as the landgrave, &c. Let them talk, and invent 
news, we will wait God's will. I recommend you to 
his protection. — Martin Luther." (February 14th, 

Luther had arrived, the 28th January, at Eisle- 
ben, and though already ill, he joined in all the 
conferences until the 17th February. He preached 
also four times, and revised the ecclesiastical sta- 
tutes for the earldom of Mansfeld. The 17th, he 
was so ill that the counts prayed him not to go out. 
At supper he spoke much of his approaching end, 
and some one asking him if he thought we should 
recognize each other in the other world, he replied 
that he thought so. On returning to his chamber 
with master Cselius and his two sons, he drew near 
the window, and remained there a long time in 
prayer. After that, he said to Aurifaber, who had 
just arrived, " I feel very weak, and my pains seem 
to increase :" on which they administered some 
medicine to him, and endeavoured to warm him by 
friction. He spoke a few words to count Albert, 
who had come to see him, aud then laid himself 
down on the bed, saying, " If I could only sleep for 
half an hour, I thiuk it would I'efresh me." He 
did sleep without waking for an hour and a half. 
This was about eleven o'clock. When he awoke, 
he said to those in attendance, " What, still sitting 
up by me: why do you not go to rest yourselves V 
He then commenced praying, and said with fervoi', 
" In mamis tuas commendo spiritum meitm ; redemisti 
me, Domine, Deus xeritatis. (Into thy hands I com- 
mend my spirit ; thou art my redeemer, O God 
of truth.)" He also said to those about him, "All 
of you pray, ray friends, for the Gospel of our Lord, 
that his reign may be extended, for the council of 
Trent and the pope threaten it greatly." He then 
slept again for about an hour, and when he awoke, 
doctor Jonas asking him how he felt, " O my God," 
he replied, " I feel myself very bad. I think, my 
dear Jonas, that I shall remain here at Eisleben, 
where I was boi'n." He then took a few steps 
about the room, and laid himself down again on the 
bed, where they covered him with soft cushions. 

Two doctors, and the count with his wife then 
arrived. Luther said to them, " I am dying ; I 
shall remain at Eisleben." And doctor Jonas ex- 
pressing a hope that the perspiration would perhaps 
relieve him: " No, dear Jonas," replied he, "it is 
a cold and dry sweat, and the pain is worse." He 
then applied himself to prayer, and said, " O my 
God ! Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou the 
God of all consolation, I thank thee for having 
revealed to me thy well-beloved Son, in whom I 
believe ; whom I have preached and acknowledged; 
whom I have loved and honoui'ed ; and whom the 
pope and the ungodly persecute. I commend my 
soul to thee, O my Saviour Jesus Christ ! I shall 
leave this terrestrial body ; I shall be taken from 
this life ; but I know that I shall rest eternally 
with thee." He repeated three times following, 
" In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti 
me, Domine Teritatis." Suddenly his eyes closed 
and he fainted. Count Albert and his wife, as well 
as the doctors, used their utmost efforts to restore 
him to life, in which they with difficulty succeeded. 
Dr. Jonas then said to him, " Reverend father, do 
you die in constant reliance on the faith you have 
taught ?" He replied distinctly, " Fes," and fell 
asleep again. Soon after he became alarmingly 
pale, then cold, and drawing one deep breath, he 

His body was borne to Wittemberg in a leaden 
coffin, where he was buried the 22nd of February, 
1546, with the highest honours. His mortal re- 
mains lie in the church of the castle, at the foot of 
the pulpit. (Ukert, i. p. 327, sqq. Extract from 
the account drawn up hy Jonas and Ccelius.) 

Will of Luther, dated January Gth, 1542. " I 
the undersigned, Martin Luther, doctor, acknow- 
ledge by these presents, to have given as jointure 
to my dear and faithful wife Catherine, to enjoy 
for the whole of her life as seems good to her, 
the estate of Zeilsdorf, such as I bought it, and 
have since made it ; the house Brun, which I 
bought under the name of Wolf ; my goblets, and 
other valuable things, such as rings, chains, medals 
in gold and silver, to the value of about a thousand 
florins. I have made this disposition, first, be- 
cause she has ever been to me a pious and faithful 
wife, who has tenderly loved me, and, by the 
blessing of God, has given me and reared up five 
children happily, still living. Secondly, that she 
may take upon herself my debts, amounting to 
about four hundred and fifty florins, supposing 
that I do not discharge them before I die. Thirdly, 
and above all, because I would not that she should 
be dependent on her children, but rather that her 
children should depend upon her, honour her, and 
be subjected unto her, as God has commanded ; 
for I have often seen children, even pious children, 
excited by the devil to disobey this commandment, 
especially when the mothers were widows, and the 
sons had wives, the daughters husbands. Besides, 
I thuik that the mother will be the best manager 
of her children, and that she will not make use of 
this settlement to the detriment of her own flesh 
and blood, those whom she has carried at her 
breast. Whatever may become of her after my 
death (for I cannot limit the will of God), I have 
this confidence in her, that she will always con- 
duct herself as a good mother to her children, and 
will share with them conscientiously whatever she 
possesses. At the same time, I pray all my friends 
G 2 



A.D. 1546. 

to be witnesses of the truth, and to defend my 
dear Catherine, if it should liappen, as is possible, 
that she should be accused by evil persons of 
keeping money back for herself, and not sharing it 
with her children. I certify that we have neither 
ready money nor treasure of any kind. This need 
surprise no one, when it is considered that we have 
had no other income than my stipend and a few 
presents, and that we have, nevertheless, gone to 
the charge of building, and have borne the ex- 

penses of a large household. I look on it also as a 
particular mercy from God, which I thank him 
for without ceasing, that we have had sufficient for 
our wants, and that our debts are not greater. . . . 

" I also pray my gracious master, duke John 
Frederick, elector, to confirm and ratify this pre- 
sent deed, although it may not be in the form 
required by the lawyers. Martin Luther. 

" Witnesses — Melanchthon,Cruziger, and Bu- 



Page 3, column I. "and there 1 mis born." — Cocli- 
Iseus asserts that Luther was engendered by an 
incubus. When he was a monk, adds this writer, 
he was suspected of having dealings with the devil. 
One day while the Gospel was being read, at the 
part where it is said that Jesus forced a demon to 
come out of the body of one deaf and dumb, Luther 
fell on the ground, exclaiming, JVon sum, non sum 
(It is not I, it is not 1). Some Spaniards who 
were at the diet of Augsburg (a.d. 1530), seriously 
believed that Luther and his wife were to give 
birth to Antichrist. (Luth. Werke, t. i. p. 415.) 

Julius-Cesar Vanini, Cerdan, and Francis Junc- 
tinus, discovered in the constellations that had 
accompanied the birth of Luther, that he was to 
be an arch-heretic and an arch-villain ; Tycho- 
Brahe and Nicholas Priicker, on the contrary, 
declared he was born under a happy sign. 

Page 3, col. 2. "Martin Luther." — Lotharius, 
lut-her, leute-herr ? Chief of Men, Head of the 
People ? 

Page 4, col. 2. " Luther describes hotc these temp- 
tations," &c. — " When I was young, it happened 
that at Eisleben, on Corpus-Christi day, 1 was 
walking with the procession, in my priest's robes, 
when suddenly the sight of the holy sacrament, 
which was carried by doctor Staupitz, so terrified 
me, (thinking in my blindness that it was Jesus 
Christ himself the vicar-general was carrying, that 
Jesus Christ in person was there before me,) that 
a cold sweat covered my body, and I believed my- 
self dying of terror. The procession finished, I 
confessed to doctor Staupitz, and related to him 
what had happened to me. He replied : ' Your 
thoughts are not of Christ ; Clirist never alarms ; 
He comforts.' These words filled me with joy, 
and were a great consolation to me." (Tischreden, 
p. 133, verso.) 

Doctor Martin Luther used to tell, that when he 
was in the monastery at Erfurth, he said once to 
doctor Staupitz : " Ah ! dear sir doctor, our Lord 
God deals with us in a manner so terrible : who 
can serve him, if he humbles us thus to the dust ? 
To which he answered me, ' Young man, learn 

* The "Life of Luther" has been given entire ; but with 
regard to the somewhat heterogeneous "Additions," the 
translator has exercised his discretion in condensing and 
retrenching; scrupulously, however, retaining every passage 
illustrative of the great Reformer's life and doctrines. 

better how to judge God; if he did not act thus, 
how could proud hearts be humbled ? Lofty trees 
must be watched, least they reach the skies.' " 
(Tischreden, p. 150, verso.) 

Luther had great difficulty in bearing the ob- 
ligations imposed on him by monastic life ; he tells 
how, in the commencement of the Reformation, he 
tried in vain to read his prayer-book regularly : 
" Though I shall have done no more than deliver 
men from this tyranny, they will owe me some 
gratitude." (Tischi-eden, p. 160.) This constant 
repetition, at fixed times, of the same meditations, 
this materialism of prayer, which weighed so 
much on the impatient spirit of Luther, Ignatius 
Loyola, the contemporary of the German reformer, 
laid the greatest stress upon, in his singular Re- 
ligious Exercises. 

At Erfurth, Luther read the greatest part of the 
works left us by the ancient Romans, Cicero, Virgil, 
Livy. ... At the age of twenty he was honoured with 
the title of Master of Arts ; and at the desire of his 
parents, he began the study of jurisprudence. . . . 
At the convent of Erfurth he excited admiration 
by his public exercises, and by the ease with which 
he extricated himself from the meshes of logic. . . 
He read with avidity the prophets and the apostles, 
the books of Saint Augustin, his Explanation of the 
Psalms, and his book On the Spirit and the Letter, 
and learnt almost by heart the treatises of Gabriel 
Biel and of Pierre d'Ailly, bishop of Cambray, and 
was a diligent student of the writings of Occam, 
whose logic he preferred to that of Thomas or 
Scot. He was likewise a great reader of Gerson's 
writings, and above all, of those of Saint Augustin." 
(Life of Luther, by Melanchthon.) 

Page 7, col. 1. " The Dominican, Tetzel, an im- 
pudent mountebank.'''' — He preached, that if any one 
had violated the holy virgin, his sin would be par- 
doned by virtue of the indulgences; that the red 
cross which he had set up in churches had as much 
efficacy as that of Jesus Christ ; that he had saved 
more souls by his indulgences than St. Peter by 
his discourses ; and that the Saxons had only to 
give money, and their mountains would become 
muies of silver, &c. {Luther adv. Brunsvic, Sec- 
kendorf, Hist. Lutheranismi, 1. i. § 16, &c.) 

By way of indirect concession, the Catholics gave 
up Tetzel; and Miltitz relates, in a letter to Pfeffin- 
ger (Seckendorf, 1. i. p. 62), that he can prove, 



through an agent of the Fuggei-s, the great bankers 
of Augsburg, that he (Tetzel) made free with the 
money he received from the sale of indulgences. 
" I will write the pope a full account," he says, 
" and await his sentence." 

Page 7) col. 1. "he was seized with indigtiation." — 
" When I undertook to write against the gross 
eri'or of indulgences, doctor Jerome Schurff stopped 
me and said : ' Would you then write against the 
pope ? What are you about ? It will not be al- 
lowed.' 'What,' replied I; 'what, if they must 
allow it ?' " (Tisehreden, 384, verso.) 

Page 8, col. I. " the sermon in the vulgar tongue, 
which Lutlier delitered." He states in a clear, 
forcible manner, the doctrine of St. Thomas in the 
five first paragraphs, and especially in the sixth, 
which is very mystical. He then proceeds to show, 
from Scripture, in opposition to this doctrine, that 
the sinner's repentance and conversion can alone 
secure him pardon for his sins. — (§ ix.) " Though 
the church were to declare that indulgences efface 
sins better than works of atonement, it would be 
a thousand times better for a Christian not to buy 
them, but rather to do the works and suffer the 
penalties ; for indulgences are, and only can be, 
dispensations from good works and salutary pains." 
— (§ XV.) " It is better and safer to give towards 
the building of St. Peter's, than to buy the indul- 
gences sold for this end. You ought, above all, to 
give to your poor neighbour ; and if there should be 
none in your town who need your assistance, you 
ought to give towards your own churches. . . . My 
counsel to all is. Buy not these indulgences ; leave 
them to be purchased by bad Christians. Let 
each follow his own path. . . ." — (§ xviii.) " I 
know nothing about souls being drawn out of pur- 
gatory by the efficacy of indulgences ; I don't 
believe they can. The safer way is to have recourse 
to prayer. . . . Leave the schoolmen to be school- 
men. All put together, they cannot stamp a doc- 
trine with authority." 

These would seem to be rather notes, to serve as 
heads of a discourse, than the sermon itself. (Lu- 
ther, Werke, vii. p. 1.) 

Page 8, col. 2. "It is said that Leo X. believed 
ths whole to be a ^natter of professional jealousy." — 
" The pope was formerly extremely proud, and de- 
spised every one. The cardinal-legate Caietano 
said to me at Augsburg, ' What ? do yon think 
that the pope cares about Germany ? The pope's 
little finger is more powerful than all your princes.' 
When my first propositions upon indulgences were 
presented to the pope, ' This is a drunken Ger- 
man's doing,' he said, ' leave him to get sober, 
and he will talk differently.' It was in this jeering 
tone that he spoke of every one." 

Luther did not leave all the contempt to the 
Italians, but returned it to them with interest. 
" If this Sylvester continues to provoke me by these 
fooleries, I will put an end to the game, and, giving 
the reins to my mind and my pen, I will show him 
that there are men in Germany who can see through 
his tricks, and those of Rome ; and God grant 
the time was come. The juggling Italians, with 
their evasions and their subterfuges, have too long 
amused themselves at our expense, as if we were 
fools and buffoons." (September 1st, 1518.) 

" I am delighted that Philip (Melanchthon) has 
proved for himself the Italian chai'acter. These phi- 

losophers will believe nothing without experience. 
For my part, there is not one Italian I would trust 
any longer, not even the emperor's confessor. My 
dear Caietano loved me with so true a friendship, 
that he would have shed for me every drop of blood 
in . . . my own veins. They are queer fellows. 
The Italian, if good, is really good; but is a prodigy, 
a black swan." (July 21st, 1530.) 

" I want Sadolet to believe that God is the Father 
of all men, even out of Italy ; but this is beyond 
an Italian's mind." (October 14th, 1539.) "The 
Italians," says Hutten, "who accused us of being 
unable to produce any work of genius, are now 
forced to admire our Albert Durer; and so strong is 
this admii'ation, that they even put his name on their 
own works in order to sell them." (Hutten, ill. 76.) 

Page 9, col. 1. "Either out of regard for his new 
ttnirersity." — The university of Wittemberg wrote 
to the elector, praying that he would extend his 
protection to the most illustrious of her members 
(p. 55, Seckendorf ). Luther's increasing celebrity 
attracted an immense concourse of students to 
Wittemberg. Luther himself says, " Studium nos- 
trum more formicarum fervet " (Our study is as 
busy as an ant's nest). A writer, almost contem- 
porary with him, says, " I have heard my tutors 
say that students flocked to Wittemberg from all 
countries to hear Luther and Melanchthon ; and 
that, as soon as they descried the city fi-om a dis- 
tance, they used to return thanks to God with up- 
lifted hands, for that from Wittemberg, as formerly 
from Jerusalem, there came out the light of Gospel 
truth, to be spread unto the furthest corners of the 
earth." (Scultetus in Annalibus, anno 1517, P- 16j 
17 ; quoted by Seckendorf, p. 59.) 

From a letter of Luther's, bearing date Nov. 1st, 
1524, the elector would appear to have been but 
parsimonious towards his favourite university. 
" I beg you," he writes, " dear Spalatin, to ask the 
prince whether he means to allow this academy to 
crumble away and perish ?" 

Page 9, col. 1 . " this prince had always taken him 
under his special protettion." The elector himself 
writes to Spalatin : " Our Martin's affair goes on 
well ; Pfeffinger is full of hope." (Seckendorf, p. 53.) 

Page 9, col. 1 . " that Holy Scripture speaks with 
such majesty." — Schenk had been charged to buy 
relics for the church of Wittemberg; but, in 1520, 
the commission was recalled, and the relics were sent 
back to Italy, to be sold at any price they could 
fetch. " For here," writes Spalatin, " the lowest 
orders despise them, in the firm and true persua- 
sion, that it suffices to learn from Holy Scripture 
to have faith and confidence in God, and to love 
one's neighbour." (Maccrfe, p. 37, fi'om Schlegel's 
Life of Spalatin, p. 59. Seckendorf, i. p. 223.) 

Page 10, col. 1. " Caietano de Vio, the legate, ^cas 
certainly a judge not much to be feared." — Extract 
from an account of the conferences between car- 
dinal Caietano and Luther: — Luther having de- 
clared that the pope had no power but salra 
Scriptura, the cardinal laughed at his words, and 
said to him, "Dost thou not know that the pope is 
above councils ? has he not I'ecently condemned 
and punished the council of Bale ?" Luther. " But 
the Paris university has appealed from him." 
The Cardinal. "And Paris shall be equally pun- 
ished." Again, Luther having quoted Gerson, the 
cardinal answered him, " What are the Gersonites 



to me ?" Upon which Luther asked him, in re- 
turn, " And who then are the Gersonites V " Oh, 
let us quit this subject," said the cai'dinal, and 
began to talk of other things. The cardinal sent 
Luther's answers to the pope, by an extraordinary 
express. He also sent word to Luther, by doctor 
Wenceslaus, that, provided he was willing to re- 
voke what he had advanced on the subject of in- 
dulgences, all might be arranged. " For," added 
he " the article on the faith necessary for the 
Holy Sacrament may very well bear a twist into 
a different sense." 

Luther said, on his return from Augsburg, " that 
if he had four hundred heads, lie would rather 
lose them all, than revoke his article on faith." 
" No man in Germany,'' says Hutten, " despises 
death more than Luther." 

He offered Caietano to submit his opinions to 
the judgment of the three universities of Bale, of 
Friburg (in Brisgau), and of Louvain, and, if re- 
quired, to that of the university of Paris, "es- 
teemed of all time the most Christian and most 

In a letter of Luther's to the elector of Saxony 
(Nov. I9th, 1518), he expressly rebuts Caietano's 
charge, that his attack on indulgences had been 
instigated by the elector, and states that none 
among his dearest friends were privy to his design, 
" save my lords the archbishop of Magdeburg, and 
the bishop of Brandenburg. 

Page 11, col. 2. "required an inquiry into the 
tnatter by disinterested judges." — The legates, never- 
theless, confined their demands to requiring that 
Luther's works should be burnt. " The pope," 
they said, " will not soil his hands with the blood of 
Luther." (Luther, Opera, ii.) 

Page 11. col. 2. last line. " Miltitz changed his 
tone." — In 1520, Luther's opponents were divided 
into two parties, represented by Eck and Miltitz. 
Eck, having held a public disputation against 
Luther, conceived that his repute as a theologian 
would be compromised unless he could either re- 
duce him to retract, or procui'e his foi-mal condem- 
nation from the pope, and therefore he resorted to 
violent measures ; whilst Miltitz, on the contrary, 
as the direct agent of the Holy See, sought only to 
hush up matters, admitting everything that Luther 
advanced, spoke as freely as himself of the pope- 
dom, and only required him to promise silence. 

On the 20th of October, 1520, he writes to the 
elector to suggest the feasibility of the latter's 
sending two or three golden pieces, bearing his 
effigy, and as many silver ones, to the young car- 
dinals, the pope's relatives, in order to pi'opitiate 
them, and begs for himself as well. He had 
written on the 14th, to say, that Luther had pro- 
mised to be silent, on condition that his adversaries 
would be silent too ; and assures the elector that 
he will baulk Eck and his faction. 

Miltitz seems to have been a boon companion. 
He writes to the elector, that spending his even- 
ing joyously at Stolpa, with the bishop of Misnia, 
a pamphlet of Luther's was brought in, in which 
the official of Stolpa was attacked ; and that while 
the bishop fumed, and the official swore, he and 
duke Geoi'ge did nothing but laugh, (a.d. 1520. 
Seckendorf, 1. i. p. 98.) He and Luther passed some 
time together, making good cheer at Lichtenberg. 
(Ibid. p. 99.) 

Miltitz met with a fitting end ; having tumbled 
into the Rhine, near Mentz, after copious libations, 
and being drowned. He had five hundred gold 
pieces about him. (Id. ibid. p. 117.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "owned that he had got the whole 
icorld with him away from the pope." — Luther's 
works were already highly popular. John Froben, 
the celebrated printer of Bale, wrote to him, on the 
14th of February, 1519, that his books were read 
and approved, even at Paris, and even in the Sor- 
bonne ; that he had not a single copy left of all 
those he had reprinted, and that they were dis- 
persed over Italy, Spain, and elsewhere, and every 
where approved by the doctors, (Seckendorf, 
1. i. p. 68.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "not content with repairing to 
Leipsic, to plead in his own defence." — Luther's 
journey to Leipsic : " First there was Carlstadt, 
alone in a chariot, preceding all the others; but a 
wheel coming off near to the church of Saint Paul, 
he fell, and this fall was considered a bad omen for 
him. Next came the chariot of Barnim, prince of 
Pomerania, who was then studying at Wittemberg, 
and bore the title of honorary rector. By his side 
were Luther and Melanchthon. A gi'eat number 
of armed scholars fi'om Wittemberg accompanied 
the carriage." (June 19th, 1519.) (Seckendorf, 
1. i. p. 92.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "with the authority of the prince, 
his protector." — Luther needed not any longer doubt 
the protection of the elector, when Spalatin, that 
prince's confidential adviser, translated and pub- 
lished in Germany his book, entitled Consolation to 
M Christians." (February, 1520.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "to issue a solemn summons . . , 
to a disputation." At this period Luther, still some- 
what unsettled in his ideas of reform, sought to 
clear up his doubts by argument, and demanded and 
prayed for public conferences. On the 15th January, 
1520, he writes to the emperor: " It will now soon 
be three years since I have had to endure anger 
without end and outrageous wrongs, since I have 
been exposed to a thousand perils, and a prey to 
all the calumnies my enemies could devise against 
me. In vain have I asked pardon for what I have 
said; in vain have I offered to keep silence; in vain 
have I proposed conditions of peace; in vain have I 
entreated to be enlightened, if in error. Not a 
word has been listened to : one only object has 
been kept in view — my ruin and that of the Gos- 
pel. Since I have, up to this present moment, 
tried everything in vain, I will, after the example 
of Saint Athanasius, invoke the imperial majesty. 
I humbly, then, implore your majesty, Charles, 
prince of the kings of the earth, to take pity, not on 
me, but on the cause of truth, for which alone it 
has been given you to bear the sword. Let me be 
allowed to prove my doctrine. Either I shall con- 
quer or I shall be conquered; and if I am found 
impious or heretical, I ask neither protection nor 
mercy." (Opera Latina Lutheri, Wittem. ii. 42.) 

Page 12, col. 2, near the end. " When the hull of 
condemnation reached Germany." — The universities 
of Louvain and Cologne approved the pope's bull, 
and, consequently, drew down the attacks of 
Luther. He accused them of having unjustly con- 
demned Occam, Pico de la Mirandola, Laurentius 
Valla, John Reuchliu. And to weaien (says 



Cochlseus) the authority of these universities, he 
attaclied them unceasingly in his books, putting in 
the margin, whenever he met with a barbarism, or 
anyiliing badly written, as they say at Louva'm, as 
they say at Cologne, * Lotanialiter, Colonialiter,' &c. 
(Cochlteus, p. 22.) At Cologne and Mentz, and in all 
the hereditary states of Charles V., Luther's works 
were burnt from the year 1520. (Cochleeus, p. 25.) 

Page 13, col. 1. " not one of them has said it more 
eloquently than he himself." — He wrote on the 29th 
Novembei", 1521, to the Austin fi-iars of Wittem- 
berg: " I daily feel how difficult it is to divest one- 
self of scruples long entertained. Oh: the pain 
it has cost me, though with the Scriptures before 
me, to justify myself to myself, for daring singly to 
set myself up against the pope and hold him as 
Antichrist! What tribulations have I not suffered! 
How often have I not addressed to myself iu 
bittei'ness of spii'it the argument of the papists, 
' Art thou alone wise ? are all others in error 2 can 
they have been so many years deceived ? What 
if thou deceivest thyself, and di-aggest along with 
thee in thy error so many souls to everlasting 
damnation ? ' Thus I used to argue within myself 
until Jesus Christ with his own, his infallible word, 
fortified me, and strengthened my soul against 
such arguments, as a rock raised above the waves, 
laughs their fury to scorn.". . .(Luth. Briefe, t. ii. 
p. 107.) 

P. 14, col. 1. "He took his stand at this time on 
St. John." — " It is necessary to take the Gospel of 
St. John in a very different point of view from the 
other evangelists. The idea of this evangelist is, 
that man can do nothing, has nothing of himself; 
that he owes every thing to the Divine mercy. . . . 
I repeat, and I will repeat, whoever would raise 
his thoughts to a salutary consideration of the 
Almighty, ought to make every thing subordinate 
to the humanity of Christ; ought to keep it ever 
before him, both in his life and in his Passion, till 
his heart is softened. Then, let him not rest there, 
but let him develope and extend the thought still 
further. It is not of his own will, but of the will 
of God the Father, that Jesus did and suffered this 
or that. It is then that he will begin to taste the 
infinite sweetness of the will of the Father revealed 
in the humanity of Christ." 

Page 14, col. 2. "his smallest pamphlets were 
emulously caught upP — The celebrated painter, Lu- 
cas Cranach, made designs for Luther's smaller 
works. — (Seckeudorf, p. 148.) 

Page 14, col. 2. " if any printer more conscientious 
than the rest." — The same at Augsburg. The con- 
fession of Augsburg was printed and spread all 
over Germany before even the end of the diet; 
the refutation of the catholics, which the emperor 
had ordered to be printed, was sent to the printers, 
but never appeared. Luther, ridiculing the 
catholics for not daring to publish this refutation, 
calls it a nightbird, an owl, a bat (jioctua et vesper- 
«iiJo.)— (Cochlajus,p. 202.) 

Page 14, col. 2. " it was to the nobles that Luther 
had chiefly appealed." — " To his imperial majesty 
and to the Christian nobles of the German nation 
— Di\ Martin Luther (a.d. 1520). 

" To the grace and glory of our Lord Jesus. . . . 
TheRomanists have cleverly surrounded themselves 
with thi-ee walls, by means of which they have up 

to this time shut out the Reformation, to the great 
prejudice of Christianity. First, they pretend 
that spiritual power is above temporal power; 
next, that it belongs to the pope alone to interpret 
the Bible; and thirdly, that the pope only has the 
right to call a council. 

" May it please God to come to our aid here, 
and to give us those trumpets which formerly 
overthrew the walls of Jericho, that we may 
blow down these walls of paper and rubbish, bring 
to light the artifices and lies of the devil, and win 
back, by repentance and amendment, the grace of 
God. Let us begin with the first wall. 

"First Wall. . . . All Christians are spiritually 
of the same condition, and there is no difference 
between them, but that which results from their 
different functions, according to the words of the 
Apostle (1 Cor.xii.),who says that we 'be many mem- 
bers, yet but one body;' but that each member has an 
office peculiar to itself, by which it is useful to others. 
We have all the same baptism, the same Gospel, 
the same faith, and as Christians we are all equal. 
... It is with the priest as with the bailli, whilst 
in office he is above the rest; but when he has laid 
it down, he becomes that which he was — a mere 
citizen. Indelible characters are but a chimera. . . , 
The secular power being instituted of God, in 
order that the wicked may be punished, the good 
protected, its ministry ought to extend to all 
Christians, without consideration of person, pope, 
bishop, monk, nun, or others, it matters not. . . . 
Has a priest been killed, all the country is laid 
under interdict. Why is it not so when a peasant 
has been murdered 1 Whence this difference 
between Christians whom Jesus Christ calls equal? 
Simply fi'om the laws and inventions of men. . . . 

" Second Wall. . . We are priests — does not the 
apostle say it (1 Cor. ii.) : 'He that is spiritual 
judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no 
man ?' We have all, by faith, the same Spirit, says 
also the apostle; wherefore should we not be sensible 
as well as popes, who are often infidels, of what is 
conformable to the faith, what contrary to it ? 

" Third Wall. . . . The first councils were not 
convened by the popes ; the council of Nice, itself, 
was convoked by the emperor Constantine. ... If 
enemies surprised a town, the honour would be to 
him who should first cry ' to arms,' let him be 
burgomaster or not. Why should it not be the 
same for him who stands sentinel against our 
enemies, the powers of darkness, and who, seeing 
them advance, should be first to assemble the 
band of Christians against them ? Must he be 
pope to do this ? . . . " 

The following is the summary of the reforma- 
tions proposed by Luther : — That the pope shall 
reti'ench the luxury of his court, and approximate 
more to the poverty of Christ. His court absorbs 
immense sums; it is calculated that more than three 
hundred thousand florins leave Germany every year 
for Rome. Twelve cardinals would be sufficient, 
and they should be maintained by the pope. Why 
do the Germans allow themselves to be despoiled 
by the cardinals, who seize all their rich founda- 
tions, and spend the revenues at Rome 1 The 
French do not suffer this. That no more contri- 
butions be levied to be employed against the 
Turks ; which is but a lure, a miserable pretext 
for getting our money. That the pope's right of 
investiture be no longer acknowledged. Rome 



draws all to itself by the most impudent practices. ] 
There is in this city a simple courtier, who is 
possessed of twenty-two curacies, seven priories, 
forty-four prebends, &c. That the secular authori- 
ties send no more annats to Rome — as has been 
the custom for a century past. That it suffice for 
the installation of bishops, that they be confirmed 
by the two nearest bishops, or by their archbishop, 
conformably to the council of Nice. " In proposing 
these changes, my object is to induce reflection in 
such as are disposed to aid Germany in becoming 
Christian, and to free herself from the deplorable 
government of the pope, a government which is 

That thei-e be fewer pilgrimages to Italy. The 
orders of mendicants to be allowed to die away ; 
they are degenerated, and do not fulfil the inten- 
tion of their founders. The marriage of priests to 
be permitted. Many of the holidays to be sup- 
pressed, or made to fall on Sundays. Fetes of 
patrons, so prejudicial to morals, to be abolished. 
Fasts to be suppressed. " Many things, formerly 
useful, are not so now." Begging to be put down. 
Each community to be held responsible for the 
care of its poor. The founding of private masses 
to be forbidden. Further inquiry to be made into 
the doctrine of the Bohemians, and to join 
them in resisting the court of Rome. The De- 
cretals to be abolished. Houses of ill-fame to be 

" I know yet another song to sing to the court of 
Rome and the Romanists ; and if their ears itch 
for it, they shall have it, and to the last stave 
(highest octave 1). You understand, Rome ? (Lu- 
ther, Werke, vi. 544—50-8.) 

Page 15, col. 1. " I would not have violence and 
murder employed in the cause of the Gospel." — He 
wished Germany to separate itself peaceably from 
the holy see : it was with this view that he wrote 
in 1520 to Charles V. and to the German nobles, 
to induce them to renounce obedience to Rome. 
" The emperor," said he, " has equal power over 
the clergy and over the laity ; the difference 
between these two classes is but fictitious, since by 
baptism we all become priests." (Lutheri Opera, 
ii. p. 20.) 

Nevertheless, if one can believe the authority, 
suspicious enough we must allow, of Cochlteus, he 
was at this very time preaching war against Rome. 
Cochlseus makes him say, " If we have gibbets for 
thieves, axes for brigands, fires for heretics, where- 
fore not arms against these masters of sedition, 
these cardinals, these popes, against all this slime 
of the Roman Sodom, which is corrupting the 
Church of Christ ? Why not wash our hands in 
their blood V 1 am not aware from what work of 
Luther's Cochlseus takes these words. (Cochlseus, 
p. 22.) 

Page 15, col. 1. " Ilutten , . . in order to strike 
a league between them and the nobles of the Rhine." — 
From the opening of the diet inquiries were made 
of Spalatin, as to the course the elector would pur- 
sue in case of war; there was reason to believe 
that he would support his theologian, the glory of 
his university. " Who does not know," writes 
Luther to him, " that prince Frederick has become 
an example to princes for his patronage of lite- 
rature?" your Wittemberg Hebraizes and Hellenises 
successfully ; there Minerva governs the arts ; 

there the true theology of Christ triumphs." He 
writes to Spalatin (October 3rd, 1620): " Many 
think that I ought to ask our good prince to obtain 
for me an edict from the emperor forbidding any 
sentence against me, unless I am convicted of error 
out of Scriptui'e: consider whether this be advis- 
able." It appears by what follows that Luther 
thought he could count on the sympathy of the 
Italians. " Instead of books, I would rather living 
books could be multiplied, that is to say, preachers. 
I send you what has been written to me from Italy 
on this subject." " If our prince were so inclined, 
I do not believe that he could undertake any work 
worthier of him; were the commonalty of Italy to 
join us our cause would be mightily strengthened: 
who knows ? God perhaps will raise them up. He 
preserves our prince to us in order to make him the 
medimn of spreading the divine word. Consider 
then what you can do in this quarter, for the cause 
of Christ." Luther had not neglected to win the 
affection of the towns. We find him at the close of 
the year 1520, soliciting the elector to lower the 
taxes imposed on the town of Kemberg. " The 
people," he writes, " are drained even to misery by 
this detestable usury. . . . Fat livings are made 
fattei', religious ceremonies kept up, and even some 
fraternities enriched by this usury, rather by this 
sacrilegious taxation, this impious theft." 

Page 15, col. 1. Buntsclmh (shoe of alliance). — The 
sabot already served as a distinctive sign in the 
twelfth century. Sahatati was a name of the 
Vaudois. (See Dufresne, Glossar. at the word 

Page 16, col. 1 . "All this greatly added to my con- 
sideration." — Spalatin relates in his annals (p. 50) 
that the second day Luther appeared, the elector of 
Saxony on returning from the town-hall, sent for 
Spalatin to his chamber, and expressed to him the 
surprise he felt; " Doctor Martin has spoken nobly 
before the emperor, and to the princes and states 
of the empire, only he was a little too bold." (Mar- 
heinecke. History of the Reformation, i. 264.) 

Page 18, col. 1. "In the last conference the Arch- 
bishop of Treves, ^c. — Luther ended this conference 
by saying, " In all that concerns the word of God 
and faith, every Christian can judge as well for 
himself as the pope; each must live and die accord- 
ing to his faith. The word of God is the peculiar 
property of each individual of the community; and 
each member must interpret it for himself. I cited 
in confirmation of this," continues Luther, " the pas- 
sage of St. Paul, 1st Corinthians xiv., where he 
sa,ys,' If anything be revealed to another that is sitting 
by, let the first hold his peace.'' This text clearly 
proves that the master should follow his disciple, if 
the latter understand God's word better. They 
could not refute this testimony, and we broke up." 
(Luth. Werke, ix. p. 117-) 

Page 19, col. 2, near the end. " Luther found 
few books at Wartburg. — He set ardently about the 
study of Greek and Hebrew." It was here he began 
his ti'anslation of the Bible. Several versions in 
German had been already published at Nuremberg, 
in 1477, 1483, 1490, and at Augsburg, in 1518 ; 
but none of them were made for the people, being 
forbidden to be read, and also infamously printed." 
(Nee legi permittebantur, nee ob styli typorum 
horriditatem satisfacere poterant.) Seckendorf, 
lib. i. 204. 



Before the end of the fifteenth century, Germany 
possessed at least twelve editions of the Bible 
in the vulgar tongue, while Italy had but two, 
and France only one. {Jung, Hist, de la Refonne, a 

The adversaries of the Reformation themselves 
contributed to increase the number of Bibles in the 
vulgar tongue. Thus, Jex'ome Emser published a 
translation of the Scriptures to oppose that of Lu- 
ther. (Cochlseus, 50.) Luther's did not appear 
complete until 1534. 

Canstein's printing-office at Halle alone printed, 
in the space of a century, two millions of Bibles, 
one million of New Testaments, and as many 
Psalters. (Ukert, t. ii. p. 339.) 

" I was twenty years of age," says Luther him- 
self, " before I had ever seen the Bible. I believed 
that no other Gospels or Epistles existed than those 
in the sermon books. At last, I found a Bible in the 
library of Erfurth, and I often read out of it to 
Staupitz with great wonder." (Tischreden, p. 253.) 

Under the papacy, the Bible was all but un- 
known. Carlstadt began to read it after he had 
taken his doctor's degree eight years. (Tischreden, 
p. 6, verso.) 

At the diet of Augsburg (a.d. 1530), as the bishop 
of Mentz was looking over the Bible one day, one of 
his counsellors happened to come in, who said to 
him, " Gracious lord, what does your electoral 
grace make of this book V To which he replied, 
" I know not what to make of it, save that all I find 
in it is against us." " Doctor Usingen, an Augus- 
tin monk, who was my preceptor at the convent 
of Erfurth, used to say to me when he saw me 
reading the Bible with such devotion, ' Ah ! brother 
Martin, what is there in the Bible ? It is better to 
read the ancient doctors, who have sucked the 
honey of the truth. The Bible is the cause of all 
troubles.'" (Tisch., p. 7-) 

Selneccer, a contemporary of Luther's, relates 
that the monks would murmur at seeing Luther 
read the Holy Scriptures so assiduously, and tell 
hira it was not in study of that kind, but by begging 
and collecting bi'ead, meat, fish, eggs, and money, 
that he could be of any service to the community. 
.... His noviciate was extremely hard ; inside 
the monastery, the lowest and most laborious offices 
were given to him ; and outside, the begging with 
the sack. (Almanach des Protestants pour Nov. 
1810, p. 43.) 

Luther states that, when he was first a student, 
" the pagan Aristotle was held in such honour, 
that whoever had disputed his authority, would 
have been condemned at Cologne as a rank here- 
tic;" but that he was so little understood, that a 
monk, preaching on the Passion, favoured his 
hearers with a two hours' discussion of the question, 
' Whether quality were really distinct from substance,' 
stating, as an instance, ' / could pass my head 
through that hole, but not the size of my head.' " (Tisch- 
red., p. 15, verso.) 

" My brothers of the convent would say to me 
when I was studying, ' Sic tibi, sic mihi, saccum 
per nackum,' (Come, we are all alike here, put the 
bag round your neck.) (Tischred. p. 272.) 

Page 19, col. 2, last line. "He translated into 
German Melanchthon^s Ap:logy." — He says, " Tuara 
in asinos Parisienses apologiam cum illorum insania 
statui vernacule dare adjectis annotatiouibus." (I 

am going to translate into Gennan, with notes of 
my own, your Apology to the Paris asses, and to 
prove their insanity.) 

Page 22, col. 2. " This reason was, the alarming 
character assumed by the Reformation." — Before 
quitting his retreat, he often tried by letters to 
prevent his followers from going too far. To the 
inhabitants of Wittemberg. ..." You attack 
masses, images, and other trifles, while you over- 
look faith and charity, of which you have so much 
need. You have, by your scandals, afflicted many 
pious souls, perhaps better than youi-selves. You 
have forgotten what was due to the weak. If the 
strong run as fast as they are able, must not the 
weak, left behind, faint by the way \ 

" God has granted you great grace, has given 
you the word in all its purity. Nevertheless, I 
see not a grain of charity in you ; you do not even 
bear with those who have never heard the word. 
You have no care for our brothers and sisters of 
Leipsic, and of Meissen, and of so many other 
countries, whom we ought to save with ourselves. 
. . . You have thrown yourselves headlong into 
this business, neither looking to the right nor 
to the left. Do not count therefore upon me ; 
I shall deny you. You have begun without me, 
you must end the same. . . " (December, 1521.) 

Page 24, col. 1. "the confusion that had arisen 
in his flock." — On his return to Wittemberg, he 
preached eight days running. These sermons 
effectually restored order in the town. 

Page 24, col. 1. " / myself no longer know Lu- 
ther." — " A charitable exhortation of doctor Martin 
Luther to all Christians, to keep them from the 
spirit of revolt and disturbance." (a.d. 1524.) 

" In the first place, I pray you to leave my 
name alone, and not to call yourselves Lutherans, 
but Christians. Who is Luther ? My doctx-ine is 
not mine ! I have not been ci'ucified for any one. 
St. Paul (1 Corinthians iii.) would not that any one 
should call themselves of Paul, nor of Peter, but of 
Christ. How then does it befit me, a miserable 
bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the 
children of Christ ? Cease, my dear friends, to 
cling to these party names and distinctions; away 
with them all ; and let us call ourselves only 
Christians, after him from whom our doctrine 

" It is quite just that the papists should bear 
the name of their party ; because they are not 
content with the name and doctrine of Jesus 
Christ, they will be papists besides. Well, let 
them own the pope, as he is their master. For 
me, I neither am nor wish to be master of any 
one. I and mine will contend for the sole and 
whole doctrine of Christ, who is our sole Master." 
(Luth. Werke, ii. p. 4.) 

Page 24, col. 2. " Never had any private man, 
before him, addressed a monarch. . . " — At this very 
time he was exceeding all bounds in his attacks on 
the holy see. In his reply to pope Adrian's briefs, 
he says, " I grieve to be obliged to write such good 
German in reply to this pitiful kitchen Latin. But 
God wills to confound Antichrist in all things. . . . 
It is a disgrace to off'er reasonable beings so stupid 
and absurd an interpretation of Scripture." 

" I would make one bundle of pope and cardinals, 
and fling the whole into our little ditch of the 



Tuscan Sea. Such a bath, I pledge my word, and 
back it with Jesus Christ as security, would cure 

" My little Paul, my little pope, my little don- 
key, trot gently; it is slippery, you will break a 
leg, you will injure yourself, and folk will cry out, 
' What the devil's this ? How our little popeling 
is injured !'" (a. d. 1542? Bossuet's translation in 
his Variations, i. 45, 46.) 

Interpretation of the Monachomtulus (monk-calf) 
and of two horrible popeling monsters found in the 
Tiber, at Home, in the year 1496 ; published at 
Friburg, in Misnia, in 1523, by Philip Melanchthon 
and MaHin Luther. — " In all times God has mani- 
fested by evident signs his wrath or his mercy. 
Even so his prophet Daniel foretold the coming of 
Antichrist, in order that the faithful, being warned, 
might be on their guard against his blasphemies 
and idolatry. 

" During this reign of tyranny, God has given 
many signs, and, lately, the horrible popeling mon- 
ster, found dead in the Tiber in the year 1496. . . . 
First, the ass's head signifieth the pope ; for the 
Church is a spiritual body, which neither ought, 
nor can have any visible head. Christ alone is 
lord and head of the Church. The pope has sought, 
in opposition to God, to make himself the visible 
head of the Church ; therefore this ass's head, 
attached to a human body, can signify none but he. 
Indeed, an ass's head fits the human body better 
than the pope the Church ! As great as is the 
difference between an ass's brain and human 
intellect and reason, so great is the difference 
between the papal doctrine and the doctrine of 

" He has not only an ass's head as regards 
Scripture, but as regards natural law and human 
judgment. The jurists of the empire say that 
a true canonist is a true ass. 

" The monster's right hand, like to an elephant's 
foot, signifieth that he crushes the timid and fear- 
ful. And so he crushes and bruises souls by his 
decrees, which, without cause or reason, terrify 
consciences with a thousand sins of his invention, 
and the names of which even are not understood. 

" The left hand signifieth the pope's temporal 
power ; who, in opposition to Christ's word, has 
become the lord of kings and princes. Not one of 
them has excited or entered into so many wars ; 
not one has shed so much blood. Busied with 
worldly matters, he neglects the preaching of the 
word, and deserts the Church. 

" The right foot, like to an ox's hoof, signifieth 
the ministers of spii-itual authority, who support 
and defend this tyrannical power to the oppression 
of souls ; to wit, pontifical doctors, confessors, the 
swarms of monks and nuns, and, above all, the 
school divines, — all of whom go on extending the 
pope's intolerable laws, and so holding consciences 
prisoners under the elephant's foot. 

" The left foot, which ends in a griffin's claws, 
signifieth the ministers of the civil power. Just 
as the griffin's claws do not readily let go what 
they have once seized, so the pope's satellites 
have seized by the books of tlie canons the goods 
of all Europe, and retain them so stubbornly that 
one cannot force them back. 

" The belly and the woman's breast signify the 
pope's body, that is, the cai'dinals, bishops, priests, 
monks, all the sacro-saint martyrs, all the pam- 

pered hogs of Epicurus's sty, who think only 
of eating, drinking, and voluptuous pleasures of 
every kind, and all this, not only freely, but with a 
reserve of peculiar privileges. . . . 

" Their eyes full of adultery, their hearts of 
avarice, these sons of perdition have abandoned 
the right road to follow Balaam, seeking the 
reward of his iniquity." 

Page 25, col. 1. "they hate not had the courage 
to face Luther alone." — According to Luther's own 
confession, this violent answer scandalized num- 
bers of his own party. King Christiern got him 
to write a letter of apology to Henry VIII., 
assuring him that that monarch was about to 
introduce the Reformation into England, in which 
he states, by way of excuse, that he had been 
informed that the work was not his, and offers " to 
sing a palinode" ( palinodiam cantare). Sept. 1st, 
1525. His letter had no effect on the irritated 
Henry ; so, some months after, he breaks out 
with, " These womanly-hearted tyrants have but 

an impotent and sordid mind But, by God's 

grace, I am sufficiently avenged by the contempt I 
feel for them, and for Satan, their God." (Dec. 

Page 26, col. 1. "Attempts at organization." — 
When Luther felt the necessity of inti-oducing 
some order and regularity into the new Church, 
finding himself called upon every day to judge 
mati-imonial causes, and to decide on all the rela- 
tions between the church and the laity, he set 
himself to study the canon laws. 

" In this matter of marriage which has been 
submitted to me, I have decided according to the 
decrees of the popes. I have begun to read the 
regulations of the papists, and I find that they do 
not by any means follow them," (March 30th, 

" I would give my left hand for the papists to be 
obliged to observe their own canons. They would 
cry out more loudly against them than against 

" The Decretals are like the monster; the head, 
a woman's; the body, that of a devouring Uon; the 
tail, a serpent's; nothing but falsehoods and de- 
ceit. Behold the image of the popedom." — (Tisch- 
reden, p. 277? folio et verso.) 

Page 26, col. i. " The ansicers he returns to the 
multitude that come to consult him." — (October 11th, 
1533.) To the community of Esslingen : — " It is 
true, that I have said confession is good; in the 
same way that I forbid no one to fast,.to keep holy 
days, to go on pilgrimages, &c. But I wish all 
these things to be done freely, and at every per- 
son's choice; not as if it was a mortal sin to omit 
them. . . . 13ut, as there are many consciences 
captive to the laws of the pope, you will do well 
not to eat meat in the presence of those men still 
weak in the faith. This abstinence on your part 
becomes a work of charity; in that it spares the 
conscience of your neighbour. . . ." 

(October 16th, 1523.) To Michael Vander Stras- 
sen, tax-gatherer, at Borna (concerning a preacher 
of Oelsnitz, who exaggerated Luther's principles): 
— " You have seen what my opinion is by my book 
On Confession and on Mass, where I show that con- 
fession is good when a matter of choice, and that the 
mass, though neither a sacrifice nor a good work, 
is yet a testimony of religion, &c. Your preacher's 



fault is that he flies too high, and throws away his 
old shoes before he has new ones. He should begin 
by instructing the people in faith and charity. In 
a year or so, when they shall thoroughly under- 
stand Jesus Christ, it will be time to approach the 
points that he is now mooting. ... I preached 
three years at Wittemberg before coming to these 
questions, and men of this stamp wish to do all in 
an hour. These hasty spirits work much harm. . . 
Let hira refrain from prohibiting and punishing 
confession. . . ." 

Page 27, col. 1. "As to mass." — " Please God, I 
will try to do away with these masses. I can no 
longer bear the tricks and plots of these three 
demi-canons against the unity of our Church." 
(November 27th, 1524.) 

" I have at last stirred up our canons to consent 
to the abrogation of masses." (December 2nd, 

" These two words, ' mass and sacrament,' are 
as far from each other as light and darkness, as 
heaven and hell, as God and devil, . . ." 

" Questions were frequently put to him with 
regard to the baptism of children before delivery: — 
" I have often hindered our midwives from bap- 
tizing children before they were brought into the 
world. They used to baptize the foetus as soon as 
the head appeared. Why not baptize over the 
mother's belly, or, better still, baptize the belly 
itself r' (March 13th, 1531.) 

Page 27, col. 2. " De Mlnistrh Ecdesiw Institu- 
endis" (Instructions to the Ministers of Wittem- 
berg): — " To dismiss unworthy ministers; to abro- 
gate all masses and pui'chased vigils; in the 
morning, instead of mass, Te Deum, lecture and 
exhortation ; in the evening, lecture and exposition ; 
complines after supper. One mass only to be said 
on Sundays and holydays." — (Briefe, August 19th, 

In 1520, he published a catechism; and ten 
years afterwards, another; in which he only kept 
baptism and the communion, and did away entirely 
with confession; at the same time exhorting to a 
frequent recurrence to the pastor's advice. 

He wished to preserve tithes in order to render 
ministers independent of the civil power. " Tithes 
seem to me the justest thing in the world. Would 
to God that all taxes were abolished, save tithes, or 
ninths, or eighths; what do I say ? The Egyptians 
gave the fifth, and yet could live !" (June 15th, 

Page 27, col. 2. " that tlie priest is invested inth 
an indestructible character." — " Pastors and preach- 
ers who give cause for scandal, ought to be sus- 
pended and imprisoned; and the elector has resolved 
to erect a prison for this purpose.". . . . "The 
doctor then alluded to John Sturm, whom he had 
often visited in the castle of Wittemberg, and who, 
persisting in holding the opinion that Christ had 
only died for the example's sake, was imprisoned 
in the tower of Sehwrinitz, where he died." — 
(Tischred. p. 190.) 

" Luther said that the Anabaptists were to be 
punished only inasmuch as they were seditious." — 
(Tischred. p. 298.) 

Page 28, col. I . "he yet exercised a sort of supre- 
macy and controul." — He decides that canons are 
obliged to share the public charges with the citi- 

zens. {Letter to the Council of Stettin, January I2th, 
1523). Applications were often made to him for 
church livings : 

" Put your mind at rest about having a parish. 
There is everywhere a great dearth of faithful 
pastors ; so much so, that we are forced to institute 
and ordain ministers with a rite of our own, with- 
out tonsure, without unction, without mitre, or 
staff, without gloves or censer, in fine, without 
bishops." (December 16th, 1530.) 

(a.d. 1531.) The inhabitants of Riga, and the 
prince Albert of Prussia, ask Luther to send them 

The king of Sweden, Gustavus the First, asks 
him also for a preceptor for his son. (April 1539.) 

Page 28, col. 2. " the abolition of the monastic 
xotcs." — In his treatise Be Vitanda Hominum Doc- 
trina, he says of the bishops and dignitaries of the 
church, " Let these hardened and impure ones, who 
have incessantly in their mouths ' Christianity, 
Christianity,' learn that it is not for them that I 
have written on the necessity of eating meat, of ab- 
staining from confession, and breaking images ; 
not for them, who are like the unclean that pol- 
luted the camp of Israel. If I have taught these 
thmgs, it is to deliver the captive consciences of 
those unhappy monks, who doubt if they can break 
such vows without sin." (Seckendorf, lib. i. sect. 
50, p. 202.) 

Page 29, col. I. "Nine nuns came to me yester- 
day." — Nine nuns had been carried off from their 
convent, and brought to Wittemberg. " They call 
me a ravisher," says Luther; "yes, and a thrice 
happy one like Christ, who also was a ravisher on 
earth, when, by his death, he took from the prince 
of this world his weapons and his power, and car- 
ried him away captive." (Cochlaeus, p. 73.) 

Page 30, col. 1. "His old friend Carlstadt."— 
Carlstadt was canon and archdeacon of the colle- 
giate church of All Saints, and was its dean when 
Luther entered as doctor in 1512. (Seckendorf, 1. 

Page 30, col. 1, last line but one. "Beyond Carl- 
stadt, glimpses tnight be seen of MiUizer." — Letter of 
doctor Martin to the Christians of Antwerp. " We 
believed, during the reign of the pope, that the 
spirits which make a noise and disturbance in the 
night, were those of the souls of men, who after 
death, return and wander about in expiation of 
their sins. This erroi-, thank God, has been dis- 
covered by the Gospel, and it is known at present, 
that they are not the souls of men, but nothing else 
than those malicious devils who used to deceive 
meu by false answei-s. It is they that have brought 
so much idolatry into the world. 

" The devil seeing that this sort of disturbance 
could not last, has devised a new one ; and begins 
to rage in his members, I mean in the imgodly, 
through whom he makes his way in all sorts 
of chimerical follies and extravagant doctrines. 
This won't have baptism, that denies the efficacy 
of the Lox'd's supper ; a third, puts a world 
between this and the last judgment ; others teach 
that Jesus Christ is not God ; some say this, others 
that ; and there are almost as many sects and be- 
liefs as there are heads. 

" I must cite one instance, by way of exemplifi- 
cation, for I have plenty to do with these sort of 



spirits. Thei'e is not one of them that does think 
himself more learned than Luther ; they all try to 
win their spui-s against me ; and would to heaven 
that they were all such as they think themselves, 
and that I were nothing ! The one of whom I 
speak assured me, amongst other things, that he 
was sent to me by the God of heaven and earth, 
and talked most magnificently, but the clown 
peeped through all. At last, he ordered me to read 
the books of Moses. I asked for a sign in confir- 
mation of this order, 'It is,' said he, ' written in 
the gospel of St. John.' By this time I had heard 
enough, and I told him, to come again, for that we 
should not have time, just now, to read the books 
of Moses. . . . 

" I have plenty to do in the course of the year with 
these poor people: the devil could not have found 
a better pi'etext for tormenting me. As yet the 
world had been full of those clamorous spirits 
without bodies, who oppressed the souls of men ; 
now they have bodies, and give themselves out for 
living angels . . . 

" "When the pope reigned we heard nothing of 
these troubles. The strong one (the devil) was in 
peace in his fortress; but now that a stronger one 
than he is come, and prevails against him and 
drives him out, as the Gospel says, he storms and 
comes forth with noise and fury. 

" Dear friends, one of these spirits of disorder 
has come amongst you in flesh and blood; he would 
lead you astray with the inventions of his pride: 
beware of him. 

" First, he tells you that all men have the Holy 
Ghost. Secondly, that the Holy Ghost is nothing 
more than our reason and our understanding. 
Thirdly, that all men have faith. Fourthly, that 
there is no hell, that at least the flesh only wiH- be 
damned. Fifthly, that all souls will enjoy eternal 
life. Si.Kthly, that nature itself teaches us to do 
to our neighbour what we would he should do to 
us ; this he calls faith. Seventhly, that the law is 
not violated by concupiscence, so long as we are not 
consenting to the pleasure. Eighthly, that he that 
has not the Holy Ghost, is also without sin, for he 
is destitute of reason. 

" All these are audacious propositions, vain 
imaginations; if we except the seventh, the others 
are not worthy of I'eply. . , . 

" It is sufficient for us to know that God wills 
no sin. As to his suff'erance of sin, we ought not to 
approach the question. The servant is not to know 
his master's secrets, simply his master's orders: 
how much less should a poor creature attempt to 
scrutinize or sound the mysteries and the majesty 
of the Creator ? . . . 

" To learn the law of God, and to know his son 
Jesus Christ, is sufficient to absorb the whole of life. 
. . . A.D. 1525." (Luth. Werke, torn. ii. p. 61,sqq.) 

Page 31, col. 1. " Luther obtained an order from 
the elector for Carlstadt's expulsion." — " As to Carl- 
stadt's reproach, that I have driven him away, I 
should not much trouble myself if the complaint 
were well founded ; but with God's help I hope I 
can justify myself in the matter. At all events I 
am very glad that he is no longer in our country, 
and I would wish he were not in yours." 

" Basing himself on one of his wi-itiugs, he would 
have almost persuaded me not to confound the 
spirit that animated him, with the seditious and 

homicidal one of Altstet (Munzer's residence); but 
when at my sovereign's command I went myself 
among Carlstadt's good christians, I found but too 
surely what seeds he had been sowing ; and I 
thank God I was not stoned or pelted with mud 
there, for the common form of benediction with 
which they greeted me was this : ' Get you gone, 
in the name of a thousand devils, and may you 
break your neck before you get out of the town.' " 
(Letter to the Strasburghers. Luther, Werke, t. 
ii. p. 58.) 

" In the disputations at Leipsig Carlstadt in- 
sisted on speaking before me; he left me though to 
combat Eck's propositions on the supremacy of the 
pope, and on John Huss. . . . He is a poor dis- 
puter, with a dull and opiniated head of his own, 
. . . but he had, however, a very merry Mary. 

" These subjects of scandal do much harm to 
the cause of the gosjiel. A French spy once told 
me that his king knew all about us ; for he had 
heard that we no longer respected either religion 
or laws, or even marriage itself, but that with us, 
it was like the beasts that perish. (Tischreden, p. 
417, 422.) 

Carlstadt's Death. " I wish to know whether 
Carlstadt died repentant or not. . . ." 

" They tell a story of Carlstadt's having been 
killed by the devil. A man of gigantic stature is 
said to have entered the church where Carlstadt 
was preaching, and to have afterwards gone to 
Cai'lstadt's house, where he caught up his son as if 
to dash out his bi'ains against the floor, but set him 
down, and bade him tell his father that he would 
return in three days to bear him off". Carlstadt 
died the third day. ... I think it likely that he 
was seized with sudden terrors, and that he was 
killed by the fear of death alone ; for he had always 
the greatest dread of dying." (April 7th, 1542.) 

Page 33, col. 2. " The peasants first rose up in the 
Black Forest." — An important circumstance in the 
war of the peasants is, that it broke out while the 
troops of the empire were in Italy ; otherwise the 
insurrection would have been more quickly sup- 
pressed. The peasants of count Sigismond von 
Lupfien, in Hegovia (a.d. 1524), began the revolt, 
on account of the burdens laid on them (not for 
the cause of Lutheranism). They declared this to 
William von Furstemberg, who was sent to I'educe 
them. . . This first insurrection was apparently 
suppressed, when Miinzer roused the peasants of 
Thuringia to revolt. 

The pious, the ei'udite, the peaceable Melanch- 
thou showed how accordant the demands of the 
peasants were to the word of God and to justice ; 
and exhorted the princes to clemency. Luther 
thundered against both parties. (See the text.) 

A Franconian song, composed after the war of 
the peasants, had for its burthen the verse — 
" Look out, peasant, or my horse will be over thee." 

This was the counterpart of the war-song of the 
Dithmarsen, after they had defeated the black 
guard, — 

" Look out, horseman, the peasant's upon thee." 

The common badge of the insurgent peasants, 
was a white cross. Some bodies had the wheel of 
fortune on their banners ; others seals, on which 
were engraved a ploughshare, with a flail, a rake. 



or a pitchfork, and a sabot placed cross- wise. 
(Gropp. Clironique de Wurtzburg, i. 97- Wachs- 
muth, p. 36.) 

A violent pamplilet appeared anonymously, in 
1525, inscribed " To the Assembly of all the Pea- 
sants." It bears a wheel of fortune on the title- 
page, with this inscription in German verses : 

" Now is the time for the wheel of fortune, 
God knows beforehand who will keep uppermost — 
Peasants, I Romanists, 

Good Christians. j Sophists." 

And lower down — 

" Who makes us sweat so ? 
The avarice of the nobles." 

And at the bottom — 

" Turn, turn, turn. 
Will ye, nill ye, thou must turn." 

(Strobel, Memoirs on the Literature of the Six- 
teenth Century, ii. p. 44. Wachsmuth, p. 55.) 

After the taking of Weinsberg, the peasants 
pa-ssed a i-esolution in their general council, that no 
quarter was to be granted to any prince, count, 
baron, noble, knight, priest, or monk, " in a word, 
to no men who live in idleness," and committed 
the most frightful excesses of every kind. In 
Franconia alone, they laid in ruins two hundred 
and ninety-three monasteries or castles. They 
used to drain the contents of the wine-cellars, and 
divide amongst themselves the church ornaments 
and the clerical vestments. One of their amuse- 
ments was making the nobles take off their hats to 
them. . . . The peasant women bore their share in 
the war, and marched under a banner of their 
own. (Jajger, History of Heilbronn, ii. p. 34.) 

When the insurrection had been put down in 
Suabia, numbers .of the peasants were crucified, 
others beheaded, &c. In Alsace, where the spirit 
of revolt had made great progress, duke Antony of 
Lorraine collected a body of troops, chiefly out of 
the scattered remains of the battle of Pavia, de- 
feated the peasants in three encounters (a.d. 1525), 
and is said to have slain more than thirty thousand. 
He had three hundred prisoners beheaded. (D. 
Calmet, Histoire de la Lorraine, i. p. 495, &c.; 
Hottinger, Hist, de la Suisse, ii. p. 28 ; Sleidan, 
p. 115.) 

Page 34, col. 2. "Exhortation to Peace."— " Br. 
Martin Luther's sincere exhortation to all chris- 
tians, to beware of the spirit of rebellion, 1524. 

" The man of the people, tempted beyond all 
measure, and crushed by intolerable burthens, 
neither will nor can endure any longer, and has 
good reasons for striking with flail and mace, as 
John of the Mattock threatens to do. ... I am 
rejoiced to see the tyrants trembling. . . . 

" It belongs to the secular power and the nobles 
to complete the work (the work of Reformation). 
What is done by the regular authorities cannot be 
set down as sedition." 

After pointing out that a spiritual, not a tem- 
poral insurrection is required, he goes on to say: 
" Spread, then, spread the Holy Gospel ; teach, 
write, preach that all human establishments are 
nothing ; dissuade all from becoming priests, 
papists, monks, nuns ; exhort all who ai-e such to 
i-enounce their way of life and to make their escape ; 
cease to give money for bulls, tapers, bells, pictures, 
churches ; tell them that Christian life consists in 
faith and charity. Go on two years on this wise, 

and you will see what will become of pope, bishops, 
cardinals, priesthood, monks, nuns, beils, church- 
towers, masses, vigils, surplices, copes, tonsures, 
rules, statutes, and the whole of this vermin, this 
buzzing swarm of the papal reign. The whole will 
have disappeared like smoke," 

Page 38, col. 2. "Thomas Munzer, the leader of 
the Thuringian peasants.'" — Miiiizer laid d(jwn cer- 
tain stages in the christian's state. First, purifica- 
tion (Entgrobung), or the state of renouncing the 
grosser sins; as gluttony, drunkenness, debauchery. 
Second, the studious state, or that in which the 
mind dwells on another life and labours to improve. 
Third, contemplation ; that is, meditations on sin 
and on grace. Fourth, weariness; that is, the 
state in which fear of the law makes us hate our- 
selves and inspires us with regret at our sins. 
Fifth, suspension of grace; that is, either profound 
dejection, profound incredulity, and despair like 
that of Judas, or, on the contrary, the throwing 
ourself through faith on God, and leaving all to his 
disposal. ..." He once wrote to me and Melanch- 
thon, ' I like you of Wittemberg attacking the 
pope; but your prostitutions, which you call mar- 
riages, like me not.' " He taught that a man 
ought not to sleep with his wife except assured 
beforehand, by a divine revelation, that their off- 
spring would be holy; that else it was adultery. — 
(Tischred. p. 292, 293.) 

Miinzer professed to have received his doctrine 
by divine revelations, and to teach nothing but 
what was directly communicated by God. He 
had been expelled from Prague, and many other 
towns, when he took up his final residence at 
Alstet in Saxony, where lie declaimed against 
the pope, and, what was more dangerous still, 
against Luther himself. 

Scripture, said Munzer, promises that God wUl 
grant to him who asketh. Now, he cannot refuse 
a sign to him who seeks a true knowledge of his 
will. . . . He said that God manifested his will by 
dreams. — (Gnodalius, ap.Rer. Germ. Scr. ii. p. 151 ; 
History of Miinzer, by Melanchthon, Luth. Werke, 
t. ii. p. 405.) 

Page 39, col. 2. " One cannot but be surprised at 
the severity with which Luther speaks of their defeat." 
— " The reason of my writing so violently against 
the peasants is my hori-or at seeing them forcing 
the timid into their ranks, and so dragging inno- 
cent sufferers under God's visitation. . . ." 

To John R'uhel, his brother-in-law : — "It is 
piteous to see the vengeance which has overtaken 
these poor people. But what was to be done 1 It 
is God's will to strike terror into them; otherwise, 
Satan would be doing worse than the princes are 
now doing. The lesser evil must be preferred to 
the greater. . . ."(May 23rd, 1525.) 

Page 40, col. 2. " T/i£ violence with which princes 
and bishops." — " Good princes and lords, you are 
in too great a hurry to see me die, me, who am 
only a poor man; with my death you feel assui-ed 
of victory. But if you had eai's to hear, I would 
tell you sti'ange things; and one is, that if Luther 
died, not a man of you would be sure of his life and 
dominions. ... Go on merrily, kill, burn ; but, 
with God's grace, I yield not an inch. I pray you, 
however, when you have killed me, not to call me 
to life in order to kill me again. ... I have not to 
do, I see, with rational beings. All the wild beasts 



of Germany are let loose upon me, like wolves or 
boars, to tear me in pieces. ... I write to warn 
you, but to no purpose. God has struck you with 
blindness." (Cochlseus, p. 87.) 

Page 41, col. 1. " Bucer . . . . concealed Ins 
opinions for some time from Luther." — On the 14th 
of October, 1539, he wrote to Bucer, " Give my 
respectful i-egards to J. Sturm and J. Calvin, 
whose books I have perused with singular gratifica- 

Page 41, col. 1. " Ziclngle and (Ecolampadius." 
— " (Ecolampadius and Zwingle said, ' We leave 
Luther in peace, because he is the first through 
whom God has vouchsafed us his Gospel; but 
after the death of Luther we will push our own 
opinions!' They knew not that they would die 
before Luther." (Tischred. p. 283.) 

"At first, (Ecolampadius was a fine-hearted 
being ; but he subsequently became sour and em- 
bittered. Zwingle, too, was at first full of vivacity 
and agreeability ; and he, too, turned morose and 
melancholy." (Ibid.) 

" After hearing Zwingle at the conference of 
Marburg, I considered that he was an excellent 
man, and (Ecolampadius as well. ... I have been 
much annoyed at seeing you publish Zwingle's 
book to the most Christian king, with a host of 
favourable testimonies prefixed to it, although you 
were aware that it contained matter off"ensive to 
myself and to all pious persons. Not that I envy 
the honours paid to Zwingle, at whose death I 
grieved ; but no consideration whatever should 
tempt any one to do aught prejudicial to purity of 
doctrine." (May 14th, 1538.) 

Page 41, col. 1. " I know enough, and more than 
enough of Bucer^s iniquity." " Master Bucer for- 
merly thought himself exceedingly learned. He 
never was ; for he publishes that all people have 
but one and the same religion, and are so saved. 
This is madness with a vengeance." (Tischreden, 
p. 184.) 

"Dr, Luther was shown a large book, written 
by one William Postel, a Frenchman, on Unity in 
the Wo7-M, where he laboured to prove the articles 
of faith from reason and nature, in the view of con- 
verting the Turks and Jews, and bringing all men to 
one same belief. The doctor observes, ' We have 
had similar works on natural theology ; and this 
writer proves the proverb — The French are lack- 
brains. We shall have visionaries arising who 
will undertake to reconcile all kinds of idolatry 
with a show of faith, and so extenuate idolatry.' " 
(Ibid. 68, verso.) 

Bucer made many attempts to be on good terms 
again with Luther. The latter writes (a.d. 1532), 
"As far as I am personally concerned, I could 
easily forbear you ; but there are crowds of men 
here (as you may have seen at Smalkalde) ready 
to rebel against my authority. I can in no wise 
allow you to pretend that you have not erred, or to 
say that we have mistaken each other. The best 
plan for you is to acknowledge the whole frankly, 
or to keep your peace, and teach henceforvv-ard 
sound doctrine only. There are some among us, 
as Amsdorf, Osiander, and others, who cannot 
away with your subterfuges." 

After the revolt of the Anabaptists (a.d. 1535), 
fresh attempts were made to unite the reformed 
churches of Switzerland, Alsace, and Saxony under 

one common confession of faith. Luther writes to 
Capito (Koepstein), Bucer's friend, and minister at 
Strasburg, " My (Catherine thanks you for the gold 
ring you sent her ;" then, after mentioning that it 
had been either lost or stolen, he says, " The 
poor woman is greatly distressed, because I had 
told her the present was a happy gage of the 
future concord of your church and ours." (July 
9th, 1537.) 

Page 42, col. I. " This forbearance could not last. 
The publication De Libera Arbitrio" (Of the Freedom 
of the Will). — " You say less, but you grant more 
to freedom of the will than any one else ; for you 
do not define free-will, and yet grant it every 
thing. I would prefer receiving the doctrine of 
the sophists and of their master, Peter Lombard ; 
who tell us that free-will is no more than the 
faculty of distinguishing and choosing between 
good and evil, according as we are directed by 
grace or not. Peter Lombard believes with Au- 
gustin, that if free-will have nothing to direct it, it 
can only lead man to sin. So Augustin, in his 
second book against Julian, calls it the slave mil, 
rather than free tdll." (De Servo Arbitrio, p. 477j 

Page 42, col. 1, the last line but one. " There is 
no longer God, nor Christ, nor Gospel." — " If God 
has foreknowledge ; if Satan is the prince of this 
world ; if original sin has lost us ; if the Jews, 
seeking righteousness, have fallen into unrighteous- 
ness ; whilst the Gentiles, seeking unrighteousness, 
have found righteousness (freely offered unto 
them); if Christ has redeemed us by his blood ; 
there can be no free-will for men or for angels. 
Either Christ is superfluous ; or we must admit 
that he has only redeemed the vilest part of man." 
(De Servo Arbitrio, p. 525, vero.) 

Page 42, col. 2. " The more Luther struggles." — 
Pushed hard by contradictions, Luther is reduced 
to maintain the following propositions : — " Grace 
is gratuitously given to the most unworthy and 
least deserving ; it is not to be obtained by study, 
work, by any efforts, great or little ; it is not even 
granted to the ardent zeal of the best and most 
virtuous of men, whose sole pursuit is righteous- 
ness." (De Servo Arbitrio, p. 620.) 

Page 42, col. 2. "And, to his latest day, the 
name of him." — " What you tell me of Erasmus's 

foaming against me, I can see in his letters 

He is a most trifling man, who laughs at all 
religions like his Luciau, and only writes seriously 
when he wishes to retort and annoy." (May 28th, 

" Erasmus shows a spirit worthy of himself by 
thus persecuting the name of Lutheran, which 
constitutes his safety. Why is he not oft" to his 
Hollanders, his Frenchmen, his Italians, his Eng- 
lishmen, &c. ? . . . He seeks by these flattei-ers to 
secure himself an asylum; but he will find none, 
and, betwixt two stools, will come to the ground. 
Had the Lutherans hated him as his own country- 
men do, he would live at Bale at the I'isk of his 
life. But let Christ judge this atheist, this Epi- 
curus." (March 7th, 1529.) 

Page 43, col. 1 . " If I fight with dirt, ^c."— The 
original epigram is as follows : — 

" Hoc scio pro certo, quod, si cum stercore certo, 
Vinco vel vincor, semper ego maculor." 



Page 43. col. 2. " / have chosen to practise what 
I preached." — Luther, in preacliing the marriage 
of priests, thought only of putting an end to the 
shameful lie they daily gave to their monastic 
vows. It never occurred to him at this time 
that a married priest would be led to prefer his 
family according to the flesh, to that entrusted to 
him by God and the Church. Yet he himself 
could not always withdraw himself from the selfish 
feelings of a father ; and expressions sometimes 
escaped him, lamentably at variance with charity 
and devotion, as they are understood and fre- 
quently practised by Catholic priests. 

" It is quite sufficient," he says in one of his 
charges to a pastor, " if the people communicate 
three or four times in the year, and that publicly. 
To administer the communion in private would 
become too heavy a burthen on ministers, es- 
pecially in seasons of pestilence. Besides, the 
Church ought not to be rendered in this manner, 
as regards her sacraments, the slave of individuals, 
above all, of those who despise her, yet would, 
nevertheless, have the Church in all cases ever 
ready to administer to them, although they do 
nothing for the Church." (November 26th, 1539.) 

He himself, however, acted upon very diff"erent 
maxims ; displaying on serious emergencies all the 
heroism of charity. 

" I have turned my house into a hospital, as all 
others were frightened. I have received the pas- 
tor into my house (his wife has just fallen a victim) 
and all his family." (November 4th, 1527.) 

Doctor Luther, speaking of the death of Dr. 
S^bald and his wife, whom he had visited in their 
sickness and touched, said, " They died of sorrow 
and disti'ess more than of the plague." He took 
their children into his house, and being told that 
he was tempting God's providence ; " Ah !" said 
he, " mine has been a good schooling, which has 
taught me to tempt God in this way." 

The plague being in two houses, they wanted to 
sequester a deacon who had entered them ; Lu- 
ther would not allow it, both from trust in God, 
and unwillingness to create alarm, (December, 
1538. Tischreden, p. 356.) 

Page 44, col. 1. " Pre-occupied with household 
cares." — " We have excellent wine from the prince's 
cellar, and we should become perfect evangelists, if 
the Gospel fattened us eqnally." (March 8th, 

Luther usually concludes his letters, at this pe- 
riod, with such words as these : Mea casta, Domi- 
nus mens, imperatrix mea Ketha, te salutat. My dear 
rib, my master, my empress Ketha salutes thee. 

" My lord Ketha was at her new kingdom at Ziels- 
dorf (a small property belonging to Luther) when 
thy letters an-ived." 

He writes to Spalatin : " My Eve wishes for thy 
prayers to God to preserve to her her two infants, 
and to help her happily to conceive and become 
the mother of a third." (May 15th, 1528.) 

Luther had three sons, John, Martin, Paul ; and 
three daughters, Elizabeth, Madeleine, and Mar- 
garet ; the two first daughters died young, one at 
the age of eight months, the other at thirteen 
years of age ; on the tomb of the first, is written. 
Hie dormit Elisahetha, filiola Lutheri. The male 
line of Luther became extinct in 1759. (Ukert, i. 
p. 92.) 

There is, in the church of Kieritzsch (a Saxon 
village), a likeness of Luther's wife, in plaster, 
bearing the following inscription : Catarina Luther, 
gebohren ton Bohraii, 1540. This likeness had be- 
longed to Luther. (Ukert, i. 364.) 

Page 43, col. 2. " Marks the end of this period of 
atony." He was exceedingly wrath with too vehe- 
ment preachers. If N * * * cannot be more mo- 
dei-ate, he writes to Hausmann, I shall get the 
prince to eject him. 

" I have already begged you," he writes to this 
same preacher, " to preach more peaceably the 
word of God, abstaining from all personalities, and 
from whatever gives annoyance to the people with- 
out adequate results. . . At the same time, you 
are too lukewarm about the sacrament, and are 
too long without communicating.'' (February 10th, 

" We have a preacher from Koenigsberg, who 
wants to introduce I know not how many regula- 
tions, touching bells, wax-tapers, and other things 
of the like sort. ... It is not needful to pi'each so 
often. I hear that they give three sermons every 
Sunday, at Koenigsberg. Where is the use of 
that ? two are quite enough ; and for the whole 
week, two or three. Daily preaching takes one 
into the pulpit without sufficient meditation, and 
we preach whatever comes uppermost, whether to 
the purpose or beside it. For God's sake, moderate 
the temper and the zeal of our preachers. This 
Koenigsberg preacher is too vehement, and trage- 
dises, and glooms and discourses about trifles." 
(July 16th, 1528.) 

" Did I want to grow rich, I would give up 
preaching, and turn mountebank. I should find 
more ready to pay for seeing me, than I have 
hearers gratis now." (Tischred. p. 186.) 

Page 43, col. 2. " So let ns honour marriage." — 
As early as the 25th of May 1524, he wrote to 
Capiton and Bucer: " I rejoice in the marriages 
you are contracting between the priests, monks, 
and nuns ; I love this array of husbands against 
the bishops of Satan, and approve the choice you 
have made for the different parishes ; in fact, there 
is nothing that you tell me but gives me the live- 
liest satisfaction: go on and prosper. . . . I will say 
yet more, we have of late years made concessions 
enough to the weak. Besides, since they harden 
themselves daily, we must speak and act with all 
freedom. ... I am thinking myself of giving up 
the cowl, which I have worn so long for the sup- 
port of the weak, aud in mockery of the pope." 
(May 25th, 1524.) 

Page 43, col. 2. " / have not liked to refuse giving 
my father the hope of posterity." — " The affair of the 
peasants has emboldened the papists, and much 
injured the cause of the gospel;and so we christians 
must now lift up the head higher. It is to this end, 
and that it may not be said we preach the gospel 
without practising it, that I am going to marry 
a nun ; my enemies were triumphing; they cried, 
lo ! lo ! I have wished to prove to them that 1 am 
not disposed to beat a retreat, though something 
old and infinn. And perhaps I may do yet some- 
thing else, at least I hope so, to damp their joy and 
to strengthen my own words." (August 16th, 

Hardly was Luther married before his enemies 
spread the report that his wife was about to be 



confined. Erasmus caught at the report with great 
eagerness, and hastened to spread it among all his 
correspondents, but he was compelled, at a subse- 
quent pei'iod, to eat his words. (Ukert, i. 189 — 192.) 
Eek and others attacked him with numerous 
satires on the occasion of his marriage, to which he 
replied in various pieces which were collected 
under the title of the Fable of the Lion and the Ass. 

Page 44. col. 1, near the end. " We are daily 
plunging deeper into debt." — In 1527, he was obliged 
to pledge three of his goblets for fifty florins, and 
at last sold one for twelve florins. His ordinary 
income never exceeded two hundred Misnia florins 
a year. . . . The publishers made him an off'er of 
four hundred florins yearly, but he could not re- 
solve on accepting it. In spite of his straitened 
means, his liberality was profuse; he gave to the 
poor the presents made to his children at their 
baptism. A poor scholar once asking him for a 
little money, he begged his wife to give him some; 
but, she replying that there was none in the house, 
Luther then took up a silver vase, and putting it 
into his hands desired him to go and sell it to some 
goldsmith for his own use. (Ukert, ii. p. 7-) 

" Doctor Pomer brought Luther one day a 
hundred florins of which some nobleman had just 
made him a present, but he would not accept them; 
he instantly gave half of it to Philip, and wished 
Dr. Pomer to take back the rest, but he would 
not. (Tischr., p. 59.) " I have never asked a single 
farthing of my gracious lord." (Tischr., p. 53 — 60.) 

Page 44. col. 2. " asking them nothing for all my 
labour." — " A lawful gain has God's blessing, as 
when one gains one farthing out of twenty, but a 
dishonest profit will be accursed. Thus it shall be 
with the printer of * * * who gains one farthing 
out of every two ... on the books he has had to 
print for me. The printer, John Grunenbei-ger, said 
to me conscientiously, ' Sir doctor, this brings me in 
too much; I cannot supply copies enough.' This was 
a man fearing God, and he lias been blessed." 
(Tischr. p. 62, verso.) 

" You know, my dear Amsdorf, that I alone 
cannot supply all the presses, and yet they all come 
to me for this food ; there are here nearly six hun- 
dred printers." (April 11th, 1525.) 

Page 46, col. 2. " Wherefore should I be pro- 
voked with the papists f It seems, however, that 
they attempted to make away with him by poison. 
(See letters written by him in Jan. and Feb , 1525 ; 
Cochlseus, p, 25 ; Tischreden, p. 416, and p. 274, 

Page 47, col \. " A clandestine but most dangerous 
persecution." — " To the christians of Holland, of 
Brabant, and of Flanders (on the occasion of the 
torture of two Austin friars, who were burnt to 
death at Brussels). 

" Oh ! how shocking a death have these two poor 
men suffered. But what glory are they now en- 
joying in God's presence ! It is a small thing to be 
despised and killed by this world, when we know 
that, as the Psalmist says (cxvi. 15.), ' Precious in 
the sight of the Lord, is tlie death of his saints.' And 
what is the world compared to God ? . . . What 
joy, what delight must the angels have felt when 
they welcomed these two souls ! God be praised 
and blessed to all eternity, who has permitted us, 
even us, to hear and to see true saints and real 

martyrs. We, who have aforetime honoured so 
many false saints !" (July, 1523.) 

" The noble lady Argula von Staufen, passes 
her life in continual suffering and peril. She is 
filled with the spirit, the word, and the knowledge 
of Christ. She has attacked the academy of 
Ingolstad with her writings, because of their forcing 
a young man, named Arsacius, into a shameful 
revocation of his faith. Her husband, who is him- 
self a tyi'ant, and who has just lost a post thi'ough 
her, is at a loss what to do. . . . As for her, though 
surrounded by so many dangers, she maintains a 
firm faith, athough, when writing to me, she con- 
fesses her courage is sometimes shaken. She is a 
precious instrument in the hands of Christ. I 
mention her to you, that you may see how God can 
confound by this tceak vessel the mighty of this 
world, and those who glorify themselves in their 
wisdom." {x.T>. 1524.) 

Luther's translation of the Bible inspired a 
general itch of disputation. Even women chal- 
lenged theologians, and averred that all the doctors 
were in darkness. Some of them were for mounting 
the pulpits, and teaching in the chui'ches. Had 
not Luther declared that by baptism we are all 
teachers, preachers, bishops, popes, &c.? (Coch- 
loeus, p. 51.) 

Page 47, col. 1. "and suffered to die of hunger." 
— One day, when some observations were made at 
Luther's table, on the little generosity shown to 
preachers, he said, " The world is incapable of 
giving anything with hearty will ; it requires to be 
dealt with by clamour and importunity ; and such 
impudence is brother Matthew's, who, by dint of 
begging, got the elector to promise that he would 
buy him a fur robe ; but, as the prince's treasurer 
took no notice of it, brother Matthew called out in 
the middle of his sermon, as he was jireaching 
before the elector, ' Where is my fur robe V The 
order was i-epeated to the treasui'er, but he again 
forgot it ; so the preacher again referred to the 
gown in the elector's presence, saying this time, 
* Alas ! I have not yet seen my fur robe : where 
is it ?' And upon this he finally obtained the pro- 
mised boon." (Tischreden, p. 189, verso.) 

Nevertheless, Luther constantly complains of 
the miserable state of the ministers generally. 

" Their salaries," he says, " are often grudged 
them ; and those who formerly would squander 
millions of florins on a set of rogues and impos- 
tors, are unwilling in these days to spare one hun- 
dred to a preacher." (March 1st, 1531.) 

" There is now established here (at Wittemberg) 
a consistorial court for questions relating to mar- 
riage, and to oblige the peasants to better discipline 
in regard to the payments of their pastors ; a re- 
gulation which, perhaps, would be of equal benefit 
if observed towards some of the nobility and the 
magistracy." (January 12th, 1541.) 

Page 47, col. 1. " There is nothing certain with 
regard to the apparitions." — "Joachim writes me 
word, that a child has been born at Bamberg with 
a lion's head ! but that it died almost instantly ; 
and that there had also appeared the sign of the 
cross over the city ; but the priests have taken 
care that these things should not be noised 
abroad." (January 22ud, 1525.) " Princes die in 
great numbers this year, which perhaps may ac- 



count fox* this number of signs." (September 6th, 

Page 47, ci)l. 1. "when the Turks encamped." — 
Luther's first idea seemed to h.ive been that the 
Turks were a succour sent him from God. " They 
are," says he," the instruments of divine vengeance." 
A.D. 1526. (PrcTeliari adversns Tiircas est repugnare 
Deo risitanti iniquitatcs jiostras per illos.) He did 
not wish tlie Protestants to arm themselves against 
them in defence of Papists; for " these (he said) 
are no better than the Turks." 

He says, in a preface which he prefixed to a 
book of doctor Jonas's, that the Turlcs equal the 
Papists, or rather surpass them, in those very 
things which the latter think so essential to salva- 
tion ; such as alms-giving, fasts, maceration.?, pil- 
grimages, the monastic life, ceremonials, and all 
other e.xternal works; and that it is for this reason 
that the Papists are reserved touching the worship 
of the Mahomedans. He takes occasion from this 
to laud and elevate over these Mahomedan and 
Romanist practices, " that pure religion of the 
soul and spirit taught by the Holy Gospel." 

Elsewhere he draws a parallel between the Turk 
and the pope, concluding thus: " If we must needs 
oppose the Turk, so must we in like manner oppose 
the pnpe." Nevertheless, when he found the Tui"ks 
seriously menacing the independence and peace of 
Germany, he repeatedly recommended the main- 
tenance of a permanent army upon the fi'ontiers 
of Turkey, and often repeated that all "ho bore the 
name of Christians ought to be fervent in prayer 
to God for the success of the emperor's arms 
against the infidels. 

Luther exhorted the elector, in a letter of the 
29th of May, 1538, to take part in the war that was 
preparing against the Turks ; and begged of him 
to forget the intestine quarrels of Germany, in 
order to turn all his forces against the common 

A former ambassador in Turkey told Luther, 
one day, that the sultan had asked him, " Who is 
this Luther % and what is his age ?" And that 
when he learnt he was forty-eight, he said, " I wish 
he was not so old ; tell him, that in me he has a 
gracious lord." " May God preserve me from all 
such gi'aciuus lords ! " said Luther, crossing him- 
self. (Tischreden, p. 432, verso.) 

Page 48, col. 1. "the landgrave. . . .believing him- 
self to be menaced." — Luther, in a letter to chancellor 
Briick, speaking of the landgrave's preparations 
for war,says,"A similar aggression on our part would 
be a great reproach to the Gospel. It would not 
be a revolt of the peasants, but a revolt of princes, 
which would bring the most fearful evils on Ger- 
manv. It is what Satan desires above all things." 
(May, 1528.) 

Page 48, col. 1 . " duke George of Saxony." — " Pray 
with me, that it may please the God of mercy to 
convert duke George to his Gospel, or that, if 
he be not worthy of it, he may be taken out of the 
world." (March 27th, 1526.) 

Luther writes to the elector, on the subject of his 
quai-rels with duke George. (December 31st, 1528.) 
. ..." I pray your grace to abandon me entirely to 
the decision of the judges, supposing that duke 
George should insist upon it ; for it becomes my 
duty to expose my own life, rather than that your 
grace should incur the least detriment. Jesus 

Christ will, I feel sure, arm me with sufficient 
strength to resist Satan, singly." 

Page 48, col. 1. "this Moah, vho exalts his 
pride." — Duke George was, after all, a good-tem- 
pered persecutor enough. Having expelled eighty- 
four Lutherans from Leipsic, he allowed them per- 
mission to retain their houses, to leave there their 
wives and children, and to visit them at the time 
of the yearly fair. In another instance, Luther 
having advised the Protestants of Leipsic to resist 
the orders of their duke, he (the duke) contented 
himself with praying the elector of Saxony to in- 
terdict all communication between Luther and 
his subjects. (Cochlteus, p. 230.) 

Page 48, col. 2. " the party of the Reformation broke 
out." — Luther still tried to restrain his favour- 
ers. On the 22nd of May, 1529, he wrote to the 
elector to dissuade him from entering into any 
league against the emperor, and to exhort him to 
put himself entirely in the hands of God. 

Page 49, col. 2. " the elector brought him. as near 
as possible to Augsburg." — He left Torgau the 3rd 
of April, and arrived at Augsburg the 2nd of May. 
His suite was composed of one hundred and sixty 
horsemen. The theologians who accompanied 
him were Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas, Agricola, 
Spalatin, and Osiander. Luther, excommunicated 
and proscribed the empire, remained at Cobui'g. — 
(Ukert, t. i. p. 232.) 

Page 50, col. 1. " cdl the comfort he got teas rough 
rebuke." — Sometimes, however, he sympathised 
with him in his trials : — " You have confessed 
Christ, made peace-off'erings, obeyed Ctesar, suffer- 
ed injuries, endured blasphemies; you have never 
rendered evil for evil; in fact, you have been a 
worthy labourer in the Lord's vineyard, as be- 
cometh the godly. Rejoice, then, and be comforted 
in the Saviour. Man of long-suffering, look up, 
and raise your drooping head, for your redemption 
draweth nigh. I will canonize you as a faithful 
member of Christ; what more of glory would you 
seek?"— (September 15th, 1530.) 

Page 50, col. 2, last line but four. " The Protest- 
ant profession of faith." — "At the diet of Augsburg, 
duke William of Bavaria, who was strongly op- 
posed to the reformers, having said to Dr. Eck, 
' Cannot we refute these opinions by the Holy 
Scriptures ? ' ' No,' said he,' but by the Fathers.' 
The bishop of IMentz then said, ' Mark ! how 
famously our theologians defend us ! The Luther- 
ans show us their belief in Scripture, and we ours 
out of Scripture.' The same bishop then added; 
' The Lutherans have one article which we cannot 
confute, whatever may be the case with the rest, — 
the one on marriage.' " — (Tischred. p. 1)9.) 

Page 51, col. 1. " If the emperor chooses to publish 
an edict." — Luther, conscious of his power, says, 
" If I were killed by the Papists, my death would 
protect those I leave behind; and these wild beasts 
would perhaps be more cruelly punished for it 
than even I could wish. For there is One who 
will say some day, Where is thy brother Abel I And 
He shall mark 'them on the forehead, and they 
shall be wanderers on the face of the earth. . . . 
Our race is now under the protection of our Lord 
God, who has written, ' I will show mercy unto 
thousands in them that love me and keep my com- 



mandments.' And I believe in these words ! " 
(June 30tli, 1530.) 

" If I were to be killed in any disturbance of the 
Papists, I should bear off with me such numbers 
of bishops, priests, and monks, that all would say, 
'Dr. Martin Luther is followed to the tomb by a 
grand procession indeed. He must have been a 
great doctor, learned and good, beyond all bishops, 
priests, and monks; therefore they must all be at 
his interment, and, like him, on their backs.' So we 
sliould take our last journey together." (a.d. 1531. 
Cochlseus, p. 211. Extract from the book of Lu- 
ther, entitled, " Advice to the Germans.") 

The Catholics, he was told, reproached him with 
many false interpretations in his translation of the 
Scriptures; he replied, " They have much too long 
eai's! and their fil-hau ! lii-hau ! is too weak to be 
able to judge of a translation from Latin into Ger- 
man. . . . Tell them that it is Dr. Martin Luther's 
pleasure that an ass and a Papist should be one and 
the same thing." 

" Sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas." 

— (Passage cited by Cochlceus, 201, verso.) 

Page 51, col. 1. " Let them restore to us Leonard 
Keiser." — " Not only the title of king, but also that 
of emperor is due to him, since he has conquered 
him who has no equal upon earth. He is not a 
priest only, — but a sovereign pontiff, and a true 
pope, who has just offered up his own body as 
a sacrifice unto God. With good reason was he 
called Leonhard, — that is to say, ' the strength of 
a lion.' He was a lion for force and intrepidity." 
(October 22nd, 1527.) 

" If we were to believe Coehlteus, Luther was a 
persecutor in his turn. In 1532, a Lutheran having 
recanted, Luther had him taken up and Carried to 
Wittemberg, where he was imprisoned, and a pro- 
cess commenced against him. The charge against 
him being insufficient, he was released, but was 
ever after persecuted in an underhand way by the 
Lutherans." (Cochloeus, p. 218.) 

Page 51, col. 2. " They entered a protest . . . pre- 
pared for war." — Nevertheless, the issue of the 
struggle was so much feared on all hands, that, 
contrary to all expectation, peace was preserved. 
(June, 1531.) 

The fear of a fresh rising of the peasants, greatly 
contributed to keep the princes in their pacific in- 
t-ntious. (July 19th, 1530.) 

Page 51, col. 2. ^^ Luther was accused of having 
instigated the Protestants." — So far from it, he had 
ever since 1529 dissuaded the elector from entering 
into any league whatever against the emperor. . . . 
" We cannot approve of any such alliance. Should 
any evil result from it, say open war, all would fall 
upon our conscience ; and we would prefer death 
a hundred times to the reproach of having shed 
blood for the Gospel's sake." (November 18th, 1529.) 

Page 51, col. 2. " I have not advised resistance to the 
emperor." — In the Book of the Table Talk (p. 397, 
verso), Luther speaks more explicitly. " There 
will be no fighting for religion's sake. The em- 
peror has taken the bishoprics of Utrecht and of 
Liege, and has offered to allow the duke of Bruns- 
wick to seize that of Hildesheim. He hungers and 
thirsts for ecclesiastical property ; he absolutely 
devours it. Our princes will not suffer this ; they 

will want to eat with him ; on this they will come 
to buffets." (a.d. 1530.) 

" I have often been asked by my gracious mas- 
ter, what I should do were a highwayman or mur- 
derer to attack me ? I should resist, out of loyalty 
to the prince whose subject and servant I am. I 
might slay the thief, even with the sword, and still 
afterwards receive the sacrament. But if it were 
for the word of God, and as a preacher, that I was 
attacked, I ought to suffer, and leave vengeance to 
God. I do not take a sword with me into the pul- 
pit, only on the road. The Anabaptists are knaves 
in despair ; they carry no arms, and boast of their 
patience." (1539.) Luther answers, on the question 
of right of resistance, " That according to public 
law, the law of nature and reason, resistance to 
unjust authority is permissible : there is no diffi- 
culty but upon the ground of religion." 

" The question would not have been difficult to 
resolve in the time of the apostles, for then all the 
authorities were pagans, not Christians. But now 
that all the princes are Christians, or pretend to be 
such, it is difficult to decide ; for a prince and a 
Christian are near of kin. Whether a Christian 
may resist the powers that be, is a question preg- 
nant with matter. ... In fine, it is from the pope 
I wrest the sword, not from the emperor." 

He thus sums up himself the arguments he might 
have addressed to the Gei'mans, if he had exhorted 
them to resistance. 

" 1. The emperor has neither the right nor the 
power to give such ordei-s ; certain it is, if he does 
so order, we ought not to obey him. 

" 2. It is not I who excite distui'bance; I pi'event 
it, I am opposed to it. Let them consider whether 
they are not the beginners, who command that 
which is contrary to God. 

" 3. Do not make a jest of the matter: if you 
will make the fool drunk {iiarren Luprian) take 
care that he does not spit in your face; besides he 
is thirsty enough, and only desires to drink his fill. 

" 4. Well, then, you will fight ? bend your heads 
then for a blessing: success attend you! may God 
give you the victory! I, doctor Martin Luther, your 
apostle, I have spoken, I have warned you as was 
my duty." . . . 

" To kill tyrants is a thing not permitted to any 
man who is not in some public capacity ; for the 
fifth commandment says : ' Thou shalt not kill.' 
But if I surprise a man with my wife or my 
daughter, although he be not a tyrant, I am justi- 
fied in killing him. So, if he were to take by force 
such a man's wife, another man's daughter, or 
another's goods and estates, his citizens and sub- 
jects, sick of his violence and tyranny, might 
assemble and slay him as they would any other 
murderer or highway robber." (Tischreden, p. 397, 
verso, sqq.) 

" The good and ti'uly noble lord, Gaspard von 
Kokritz, has desired me, my dear John, to write to 
thee my opinion, in the event of Ctesar's making war 
on our princes on account of the Gospel, whether it 
be lawful for us to resist and defend ourselves. I had 
already written my opinion on this subject in the 
lifetime of duke John. It is now a little late to 
ask my advice, since the princes have decided tliat 
they may and will both resist and defend themselves, 
and that they will not abide by what I shall say. 
. . . Do not strengthen the arms of the ungodly 
against our princes ; leave all to the wrath and 



judgment of God, which they have, up to this day, 
sought with fury, with laughter and riotous joy. 
Nevertheless moderate our side, by the example of 
the Maccabees who would not follow those that 
fought against Autiochus, but, in their simplicity 
of heart, chose death rather." (8lh February, 

In his book De Secidari Potestate, dedicated to the 
duke of Saxony, he says : "InMisnia, in Bavaria, 
and other places, the tyrants have issued an edict, 
commanding all to deliver up the New Testament 
to the magistrates. If their subjects obey this edict, 
it is not a book which at the peril of their souls they 
deliver up ; it is Christ himself whom they give 
into the hands of Herod. Howevei", if they are 
taken away by violence, it must be endured. 
Princes are of this world, and this world is the 
enemy of God." 

" We must not obey Caesar if he makes war 
against our party. The Turk does not attack his 
Alcoran, neither must the emperor attack his 
Gospel." (Cochleeus, p. 210.) 

Page 51, col. 2. "My opinion, as a theolocj'um, 
is . . ." — Tlie elector had asked Luther if he might 
resist the emperor sword in hand. Luther replied 
in the negative, only adding : " If, however, the em- 
peror, not content with being the master of the states 
of princes, should go so far as to require of them 
to persecute, put to death, or banish their subjects 
on account of the Gospel, the princes, knowing 
that this would be acting in opposition to the will 
of God, ought to refuse obedience ; otherwise, they 
would be doing violence to theii' faith, and render- 
ing themselves the accomplices of crime. It is 
sufficient for them to suffer the emperor to take 
the matter into his own hands, — he will have to 
answer for it, — and to refrain from supporting their 
subjects against him." (March 6th, 1530.) 

Page 52, col. 1. " / care not about being accused of 
riolence." — The elector had reprimanded Luther on 
account of two of his writings (Warning to Jiis 
beloved Germans, and, Glosses on the pretended Im- 
perial Edict), which he thought too violent. Luther 
replied to him (April 10th, 1531), " It was impos- 
sible for me to keep silence any longer in this 
affair, which concerns me more than any one else. 
If I were silent under such a public condemnation 
of my doctrine, would it not be equivalent to aban- 
doning, to denying it ? Rather than this, I would 
brave the anger of all the devils, and of the whole 
world, not to mention that of the imperial council- 

Page 52, col. 2. " Anabaptism was in the ascen- 
dant." — The Anabaptists had been for a long time 
spreading in Germany. " We have here a new kind 
of prophets, come from Antwerp, who pretend 
that the Holy Ghost is nothing more than the 
mind and natural reason." (March 27tli, 1525.) 

" There is nothing new, save that they say the 
Anabaptists are increasing and spreading in every 
direction." (December 28th, 1527.) 

He writes to Link (May 12ih, 1528): " Thou 
hast, I think, seen my Antischwcrmerum and my 
dissertation on the bigamy of the bishops. The 
courage of these Anabaptists, when they die, is like 
that of the Donatists, of whom Saint Augustin 
speaks, or the fury of the Jews in wasted Jerusa- 
lem. Holy martyrs, such as our Leonard Keiser, 
die in fear and humility, praying for their exe- 

cutioners. The obstinacy of these people, on the 
contrary, when they are borne to execution, seems 
to increase with the indignation of their enemies." 

Page 56, cf)l. 1. " iivre executed in the same 
horrible manner." — Extract from an old book of 
hymns used by the Anabaptists. " The words of 
Algerius are miracles. ' Here,' he says, ' others 
groan and weep, but I am full of joy. In my 
prison the army of heaven appears to me ; thou- 
sands of martyrs are with me daily. In all the 
joy, all the delight, all the ecstacy of grace, I 
am shown my Lord up(m his throne.' 

" But thy counti'y, thy friends, thy relatives, thy 
profession, canst thou voluntai'ily abandon them ? 
He answered those sent to him: ' No man can 
banish me from my country ; my country lies 
at the foot of the celestial thi'one ; there, my 
enemies shall be my friends, and shall join in the 
same song.' 

" ' Nor doctors, nor artists, nor workmen, can 
succeed here ; he that has not strength from on 
high, has no strength.' The angry judges threatened 
him with the flames. ' In the might of the flames,' 
said Algerius, ' you shall acknowledge mine.' " 
(Wunderhorn, t. i.) 

Page 56. Additions to Ciiafter 2. Book III. 

The following extracts from Ruchart (History 
of the Reformation in Switzerland) will serve to 
show the singular enthusiasm of the Anabaptists : 
— "In the year 1529, nine Anabaptists were 
apprehended and thrown into prison at Bale. 
They were brought before the senate, which sum- 
moned the ministers to confer with them, ffico- 
lampadius first briefly explained to them the 
Apostles' Creed and St. Athanasius's Creed, and 
showed them that the belief therein expounded 
was the true and indisputable Christian faith (doc- 
trine) which Jesus Christ and his apostles had 
preached. Then the burgomaster, Adelbert Meyer, 
told the Anabaptists that they had just heard a 
sound exposition of the Christian faith, and that, 
since they complained of the ministers, they ought 
to speak out frankly and freely, and boldly ex- 
plain in what they felt aggrieved! But no one 
answered a word, and they stood looking at each 
othei". Then the clerk of the chamber said to one 
of them, who was by trade a turner, ' How comes it 
that you do not speak now, after having prated so 
much elsewhere, in the streets, in the shops, and in 
prison V As they still remained silent, Mark 
Hedelin, the head tribesman, addressed their 
leader, asking, ' What answer, my brother, dost 
thou make to this proposition ? ' The Anabaptist 
replied, ' I do not recognize you as my brother.' 
' Why 1 ' said this nobleman to him. ' Be- 
cause you are not a Christian. Repent first, 
reform, and quit the magistracy.' ' In what, then, 
do you think I sin so heavily ? ' said Hedelin. 
' You know well enough,' replied the Anabaptist. 

" The burgomaster then took up the woi'd, ex- 
horted him to reply in a modest and becoming 
manner, and earnestly pressed him to speak to the 
question proposed. On this he replied, ' That no 
Christian could belong to a worldly magistracy, 
because he who fights with the sword will perish 
with the sword; that the baptism of children pro- 
ceedeth from the devil, and is an invention of the 
pope's; adults ought to be baptized, and not in- 
fants, according to Jesus Christ's commands.' 
H 2 



" fficolampadius undertook to refute him with 
all possible gentleness, and to show him that the 
passages which he had quoted boi-e a very different 
interpretation, as all the ancient doctors testified. 
' ]\Iy dear friends,' he said, ' you do not understand 
Holy Scripture, and you handle it in a rude and 
insufficient mannei*.' And as he was proceeding 
to show them the sense of these passages, one of 
them, a miller by trade, interrupted him, accusing 
him of being a tempter, and an empty talker, say- 
ing, that his arguments had nothing to do with 
the subjeci; that they had in their hands God's 
pure and very word, that they would not forsake 
it their life long, and that the Holy Ghost spoke 
at the present day through it. At the same time, 
he apologized for his want of eloquence, saying, 
that he had not studied, that he had not belonged 
to any university, and that from his youth he had 
hated human wisdom, which is full of deceit; and 
that he was well aware of the tricks of the scribes 
who were for ever seeking to throw dust in the 
eyes of the simple. Whereupon, he begau crying 
aud wee])ing, saying, that after he had heard the 
word of God, he had forsaken his irregular course 
of life ; and that now that, through baptism, he 
had received pardon for his sins, he was perse- 
cuted of all, whereas, whilst he was sunk in vice of 
every kind, no one had rebuked or imprisoned him, 
as was now the case. He had been confined iu 
the gaol, like a murderer ; what was his crime ? 
&c. The conference having lasted to the hour of 
dinner, the senate broke up. 

" The senate meeting again after dinner, the mi- 
nistex's began to question the Anabaptists on the 
subject of the magistracy ; and when one of them 
had given very fair and satisfactory answers, the 
rest evidenced their discontent, declaring that he 
was a waverer, and interrupted him. ' Leave us 
to speak,' said they to him ; ' we who understand 
Scripture better than thou, and can reply better 
touching these articles than thou, who art still a 
novice, and incapable of defending our doctrine 
against foxes.' Then the turner, beginning an 
argument, maintained that St. Paul (Rom. xiii.), 
when speaking of the superior powers, does not 
refer to the magistracy, but to the higher ecclesias- 
tical authorities. This (Ecolampadius denied, and 
asked in what part of the Bible he found it. The 
other said, ' Turn over the leaves of your Old and 
New Testament, and you will find that you are en- 
titled to a salary. You ax'e better off than I, who 
have to support myself with the labour of my hands, 
so as to be a burthen to no one.' This sally made 
the bystanders laugh. Qi]c(jlampadius remarked to 
them, ' Gentlemen, this is not a time for laughing ; 
if I receive from the Church my means of support 
and existence, I can prove the reasouablenes of 
this from Scripture. Language of the sort is sedi- 
tious. Pray rather for the glory of the Lord that 
God may soften their hardened hearts, and illu- 
minate their hearts with his grace.' 

" After sevei'al other arguments, as the time of 
breaking up the sitting approached, one of them, 
who had said nothing the whole day, began howling 
and weeping. ' The last day is at hand,' he shouted 
forth; 'reform; the axe is already laid to the tree ; 
do not, then, calumniate our doctrine on baptism. 
I pray you, for the love of Jesus Christ, persecute 
not honest folk. Of a verity, the just Judge will 
soon come, and will cause all the ungodly to perish.' 

" The burgomaster interrupted him, to tell him 
there was no need of all this outcry, but that he 
should confine himself to reasoning on the points 
in question. Nevertheless, he attempted to per- 
severe in the same strain, but was prevented. At 
last, the burgomaster undertook to justify the con- 
duct of the senate towards the Anabaptists, and 
stated that they had been arrested, not on account 
of the Gospel, or on account of their good conduct, 
but on account of their irregularities, their pei'- 
juries, and their sedition ; that one of them had 
committed murder, another had preached that 
tithes were unlawful, a third had excited disturb- 
ances, &c. ; that it was for these crimes they had 
been arrested, until it had been settled what course 
should be pursued with them, &c. 

" Hereupon, one of them began crying out, 
' Brothers, resist not the ungodly; though the ene- 
my should be at your gate, shut it not. Let them 
approach ; they cannot harm us without the will 
of our Father, since the hairs of our head are num- 
bered. Moi-e than this, I say, you must not even 
resist a robber iu a wood. Tliink you not that 
God watches over you ?' They forced him to de- 
sist from this outcry." (Ruchart, Reformc Suisse, 
p. 498.) 

Another disputation. — "The Zwinglian ministers 
spoke to them amicably aud gently, proving to 
them that if they taught the truth, they were in the 
wrong to separate from the Church, and to preach 
in the woods and other solitary places. Then he 
briefly expounded to them the doctrine of the 
Church. One of the Anabaptists interrupted him 
with, ' We have received the Holy Ghost by bap- 
tism; we have no need of instruction !' One of the 
lords deputies then said, ' We are commissioned 
to tell you that the magistrates are pleased to allow 
you to depart without further punishment, pro- 
vided you quit the country, and promise never to 
return, except you are minded to alter your way of 
life !' One of the Anabaptists exclaimed, ' What 
orders are these ? The magistrates are not masters 
of the land, to order us to quit it, or go elsewhere. 
God has said. Dwell in the land. I choose to obey 
this commandment, and to remain in the country 
where I was born, where I was brought up, and 
no one has a right to hinder me !' He was now, 
however, taught the contrary." {Idem, t. iil. 
p. 102.) 

" At Bale, an Anabaptist named Coyirad in Gas- 
sen used to utter strange blasphemies ; for in- 
stance, ' That Jesus Christ was nut our Redeemer, 
that he was not God, and that he was not born of 
a virgin !' He made no account of prayer, and 
when it was pointed out to him that Jesus Christ 
had prayed on the Mount of Olives, he answered 
with brutal insolence, ' Who heard him V Being 
found to be incorrigible, he was condemned to be 
beheaded. This impious fanatic reminds me of 
another of our own day, who persuaded certain of 
our neighbours, some years age, that it behoved to 
use neither bread nor wine. And when it was ob- 
jected to him one day at Geneva, tliat Christ's first 
miracle was changing water into wine, he answered, 
' That Jesus Christ was still young at that time: 
and that it was a venial fault, which ought to be 
forgiven him.' " {Idem, t. iii. p. 104.) 

The Reformation, born in Saxony, soon gained the 
banks of the Rhine, and proceeded up that stream 
to mingle, in Switzerland, with the rationalism of 



the Vaudois ; it even dared to cross into Catholic 
Italy. Melanchthon, who kept up a correspondence 
with Bembo and Sadolet, both secretaries to the 
apostolic chamber, was at first better known than 
Luther to the Italian literati ; and the glory of the 
first attacks on Rome was attributed to liim. But 
Luther's reputation spreading with the importance 
of his reformation, the Italians soon learned to 
consider him the head of the Protestant party ; and 
it is, as such, that Altieri addressed him, in 1542, 
in the name of the Protestant churches of the 
north-east of Italy (the churches of Venice, 
Vicenza, and Trevisa). ..." Engage the most 
serene princes of Germany to intercede for us with 
the Venetian senate to relax the violent measures 
instituted agaiiiSt the Lord's flock, at the suggestion 
of the papal ministers. . . . You know the addi- 
tion made here to your churches, and how wide is 
the gate open to the Gospel. . . . Aid, then, the 
common cause." (Seckendorf, c. iii. p. 401.) 

Charles the Fifth himself contributed to spread 
the name and doctrines of Luther in the Italian 
peninsula, by constantly pouring into it from Ger- 
many new bands of landshieclits, among whom were 
many Protestants. It is well known that George 
Von Frundsberg, the leader of the Constable de 
Bourbon's German troops, swore that he woidd 
strangle the pope with the gold chain that hung 
round his neck. . . . 

Luther himself was solemnly proclaimed: "A 
number of German soldiers assembled one day in 
the streets of Rome, mounted on horses and mules. 
One of them, named Grundwald, of remarkable 
statm'e, dressed himself up like the pope, placed a 
triple crown on his head, and mounted on a mule 
richly caparisioned. Others tricked themselves 
out as cardinals, with mitres on their heads, and in 
either scarlet or white robes, according to the per- 
sonages they represented. They then set out in 
procession, with drums and fifes, followed by an 
immense crowd, and with all the pomp customaxy 
in pontifical processions. Whenever they passed a 
cardinal's house, Grundwald gave his benedic- 
tion to the people. He at last alighted from his 
mule; and the soldiers, setting him in a chair, bore 
him on their shoulders. On reaching the castle of 
St. Angelo he takes a large cup, and drinks to 
Clement's health, and his comrades follow his 
example. He then tenders the oath to his cardi- 
nals, adding that he binds them to do homage to the 
emperor, as their lawful and only sovereign, and 
makes them promise that they will no more trouble 
the peace of the empire by their intrigues, but that, 
following the commands of Scripture, and the 
example of Jesus Christ and the apostles, they will 
be submissive to the civil power. After an ha- 
rangue, in which he recaiiitulated the wars, parri- 
cides, and sacrileges of the popes, the mock pontiff 
volunteers a solemn promise to transfer, in form of 
a will, his powers and authority to Martin Luther, 
who alone, he said, could abolish all abuses of the 
kind, and repair the bark of St. Peter, so that it 
should no longer be the sport of winds and waves. 
Then raising his voice, he exclaimed: ' Let all who 
think with me lift up their hands.' The whole of 
the soldiery at once lifted up their hands, with 
shouts of ' Long live Pope Luther !' All this 
took place before the eyes of Clement VII." 
(Macree, Ref. in Italy, p. 6C, 6?.) 

Zwingle's works, being written in Latin, had a 

wider ciiculation in Italy than those of the re- 
formers of the north of Germany, who did not 
always use the universal and learned language. 
No doubt this is one of the reasons for the peculiar 
bias taken by the reformation in Italy, particularly 
in the academy of Vicenza — where Socinianism 
had its birth. Ou February 14tli, 1519, the chief 
magistrate of that city writes to him: — "Blaise 
Salmonius, bookseller of Leipsic, has sent me some 
of your treatises. ... I have liad them printed, 
and have sent six hundred copies to France and 
Spain. . . . My friends assure me that even in the 
Sorbonne there are those who read and aj)prove of 
them. The learned of this country have long 
desired to see theology treated in an independent 
spirit. Calvi, bookseller of Pavia, has undertaken 
to distribute great part of the edition through 
Italy. He also promises to collect and send all 
the epigrams composed in your honour by the 
learned of this country. Such is the favour your 
courage and zeal have won for you and for the 
cause of Christ." 

On September 19th, 1520, Burchard Schenk 
writes from Venice to Spalatin: — "Luther has 
long been known to us by reputation; we say here, 
he must beware of the pope! Two months since, 
ten of his books were brought here and at once sold. 
. . . May God keep him in the path of truth and 
charity !" (Seckendoi-f, p. 115.) 

Some of Luther's works found their way to 
Rome, and even into the Vatican, under the safe- 
guard of some pious personage, whose name was 
substituted on the title-page for that of the 
hei-etical author. In this manner, many cardinals, 
to their great mortification, were entrapped into 
loud encomiums on the commentary Upon the 
Epistle to the Romans, and the Treatise on Jusfifica- 
tion of a certain cardinal Fi-egoso, who was no 
other than Luther. 

Page 56, col. 2. " The momentary union of tJte 
Catholics and Protestants against the Anabaptists." — 
To rebut the i-eproaches of the Catholics, who 
attributed the revolt of the Anabaptists to the 
Protestant preachers, the reformers of all sects 
made an effort at amalgamation. A conference 
took place at Wittemberg (a.d. 1536), to which 
Bucer, Capito, and others repaired in the month of 
May, to confer with the Saxon theologians. The 
conference lasted from the 22nd to the 25th ; on 
which day the Formula of Concord, which had 
been drawn up by Melanchthon, was agreed to and 
signed. Both Luther and Bucer preached, and 
proclaimed the union which had just been coil- 
eluded between the parties. (Ukert, i. p. 307.) 

Page 58, col. I, top of the page. " Given at Wit- 
temhenj."—'We find in the Table-talk (p. 320), 
"The secret marriage of princes and of great lords 
is a true marriage before God; it is not without 
analogy to the concubineship of the patriarchs." 
(This may serve to explain the exception in favour 
of the landgrave.) 

Page 58, col. 2. " O^ir wine is poisoned."— Jn 
1541, a citizen of Wittemberg, named Clemann 
Schober, followed Luther, harquebuss in hand, with 
the evident intention of killing him ; he was arrested 
and punished. (Ukert, i. p. 323.) 

Page 59, col. 1. "Let ns . . . seat ourselces at 



his table." — Here he was always surrounded by 
his children and his friends Melanchthon, Jonas, 
Aurifaber, &c., who had supported him under his 
labours. A place at this table was an enviable 
privilege. " I would willingly," he writes to Gas- 
pard Miiiler, " have I'eceived Kegel as one of my 
boarders, for many reasons ; but, young Porse von 
Jena being about to return soon, my table will be 
full, and I cannot well dismiss my old and faithful 
companions. If, however, a shall become 
vacant, which may occur after Easter, I will com- 
ply with your request with pleasure, unless my lord 
Catherine, which I cannot think, should refuse us 
her consent." (January 19th, 1536.) He often 
calls his wife, Dom'mus Ketha. He begins a letter 
thus, which he wrote on the 26th July, 1540: " To 
the rich and noble lady of Zeilsdorf*, Madam, 
the doctort'ss Catherine Luther, residing at Wittem- 
berg, sometimes taking her pleasure at Zeilsdorf, 
my well-beloved spouse "... 

Page 59, col. 1. "fatJier of a family." — To 
Mark Cordel. — " As we have agreed upon, my dear 
Mark, I send you my son John, that you may em- 
ploy him in teaching children grammar and music, 
and, at the same time, that you may watch over 
him, and improve his manners. If your care suc- 
ceeds with this one, you shall have, if I live, two 
others. I am in travail with theologians. I would 
also bring into the world grammarians and musi- 
cians." (August 26th, 1542.) 

Doctor Jonas remarked, one day, that the curse 
of God on disobedient children was accom])lished 
in the family of Luther, the young man of whom he 
spoke being always ill and a constant sufferer. 
Doctor Luther added, " It is the punishment of 
his disobedience. He almost killed me at one 
time, ever since which my sti'ength has utterly 
failed me. Thanks to him, I now comprehend the 
passage where St. Paul speaks of children who kill 
their parents, not by the sword, but by disobedience. 
They do not live long, and have no real happiness. 
... my God ! how wicked this world is, and in 
what times we live ! They are the times of which 
Jesus Christ has spoken: 'When the Son of man 
comes, thinkest thou He will find faith and cha- 
rity V Happy are they who die before such times." 
(Tischreden, p. 48.) 

Page 59, col. 1. "From icomen proceed children." 
— " Woman is the most precious of all gifts ; she 
is full of charms and virtues ; she is the guardian 
of the faith. 

" Our first love is violent ; it intoxicates us, and 
deprives us of reason. The madness passed away, 
the good retain a sober love, the ungodly retain 

" My gracious Lord, if it be thy holy will that I 
live without a wife, sustain me against temptations ; 
if otherwise, grant me a good and pious maiden, 
with whom I may pass my life sweetly and calmly, 
whom I may love, and of whom I may be loved in 
return." (Tischreden, p. 329—331.) 

Page 59, col. 2. " Take another." — Lucas Cranach, 
the elder, had made a portrait of Luther's wife. 
When the picture was hung up, the doctor said, on 
seeing it, " I will have the portrait of a man painted. 

* Zeilsdorf, the name of a village near which Luther had 
a small property. 

I will send both portraits to the council at Mantua, 
and ask the holy fathers whether they would not 
prefer the marriage state to the celibacy of the 

Page 60, col. ). " We find an image of marriai^e." 
" A marriage which the authorities approve of, and 
which is not against the word of Gud, is a good 
marriage, whatever may be the degree of consan- 
guinity." (Tischreden, p. 321.) 

He was loud in his blame of those lawyers who, 
"against their own consciences, against natural 
law, and the divine and imperial, maintained as 
valid secret promises of marriage. Every one 
ought to be left to settle the matter with his own 
conscience : one cannot foi'ce love. 

" Questions of dowi-y, nuptial presents, property, 
inheritance, &c., belong to the civil power ; and I 
will refer all such to it. . . . We are pastors of 
consciences, not of bodies and goods." (Tischreden, 
p. 315.) 

Consulted in a case of adultery, he says, " You 
shall summon them, and then separate them. Such 
cases belong exclusively to the civil power, for 
marriage is a temporal affair ; and the Church is 
interested no further than the conscience is con- 
cerned." (Tischreden, p. 322.) 

Page 60, col. 2. " Ah ! how my heart sighed after 
mineoicn!" — During the diet of Augsburg he wrote 
to his son John. ..." I luiow a lovely garden, 
full of children with golden robes, who wander 
about, playing under the trees, having plenty of 
fine apples, pears, cherries, nuts, and plums. 
They sing, and frisk, and are all merriment. They 
have pretty little horses, with golden bridles and 
silver saddles. Passing before this garden, I asked 
the o\vner who those children were. He answered, 
* Those who love to pray, to learn, and who are 
good.' Then I said, ' Dear friend, I, too, have 
a child, little John Luther. May not he come into 
this garden to eat these beautiful apples and pears, 
to ride these pretty little horses, and play with 
the other children V The owner answered, ' If he 
is very good, and says his prayers, and attends to 
his lessons, lie can come, and little Philip and 
little James with him. They will find here fifes, 
cymbals, and other fine instruments to play upon ; 
and can dance, and shoot with little crossbows.' 
As he spake thus, the owner showed me, in the 
middle of the garden, a beautiful meadow for 
dancing, whei'e were hung fifes, timbrels, and little 
crossbows. But as it was morning, and the chil- 
dren had not had their dinner, I could not wait to 
see the dancing. I then said to the owner, ' Dear 
sir, I shall write directly to my dear little John, to 
tell him to be good, to pray, and to learn, that he, 
too, may come into this gai-deu ; but he has an 
aunt Madeleine, whom he dearly loves, may he 
bring her with him ?' The owner replied, ' Yes ; 
they may come together.' Be, then, very good, 
my dear child, and tell Philip and James to be so, 
too, and you shall all come together to play in this 
fine garden. — I commend you to the care of God. 
Give my love and a kiss for me to aunt Madeleine. 
Your loving father, Martin Luther." (June 19th, 

Page 60, col. 2. " It is touching to see how each 
thing that attracted his notice." — " Philip and I are 
overwhelmed with business and troubles. I, who 

am old and emeritits, would prefer now to take an 
old man's pleasure in gardening, and in contem- 
plating the wonders of God in trees, flowers, herbs, 
birds, &c.; and these pleasures, and this life of 
ease, would be mine, had I not deserved by my sins 
to be debarred tliera by these importunate and often 
useless matters." (April 8th, 1538.) 

" Let us endure the difficulties which accompany 
our calling with equanimity, and hope for succoui' 
from Chi'ist. See an emblem of our lot in these 
violets and daisies which you trample under foot, 
as you walk ou your grassplots. We comfort the 
people (1) when we fill the chui'ch; here we find 
the robe of purple, the colour of afflictions, but in 
the background the golden flower recalls the faith 
which never fades. 

" God knows all trades better than any one else. 
As tailoi*, he makes the deer a robe which lasts 
nine hundred years without tearing. As shoe- 
maker, he gives him shoes which outlast himself. 
And is he not a skilful cook, who cooks and ripens 
evei'ything by the fire of the sun ? If our Lord 
were to sell the goods which he gives, he would 
turn a decent penny ; but, because he gives them 
gratis, we set no store by them." (Tischr. p. 27.) 

Page 61, col. 1. " The decalogue is the doctrine of 
doctrines." — " I begin to undei'stand that the deca- 
logue is the logic of the Gospel, and the Gospel the 
rhetoric of the decalogue. Christ has all which 
is of Moses, but Moses has not all which is of 
Christ." (June 30th, 1530.) 

Page 61, col. 2. " There ic'dl he a neic heaven and a 
new earth." — " The gnashing of teeth, spoken of in 
Scripture, is the last punishment which will fall on 
an evil conscience, the desolating certainty of being 
for ever cut off" from God." (Tischr. p. 366.) Lu- 
ther would thus seem to have entertained a more 
spiritual idea of hell than of paradise. 

Page 61, col. 2. " Men used to go on pilgrimages to 
tlie saints." — " The saints have often sinned and gone 
astray. What madness to be ever setting up their 
words and acts as infallible rules ! Let these insen- 
sate sophists, ignorant pontiffs, impious priests, sa- 
crilegious monks, and the pope with all his train 
know . . . that we were not baptized in the name 
of Augustin, of Bernard, of Gregory, of Peter, of 
Paul, nor in the name of the beneficent theological 
faculty of the Sodom (the Sorbonne) of Paris, nor i 
in that of the Gomorrah of Louvain, but in the \ 
name of Jesus Christ, our master, alone." {De 
Ahroganda Mlssa Prixata, Op. Lat. Lutheri, 
Witt. ii. p. 245.) 

" The true saints are all authorities, all servants 
of the Church, all parents, all children who believe 
in Jesus Christ, who do no sin, and who fulfil, 
each in his way of life, the duties God requires 
of them." (Tischreden, 134, verso.) 

" The legend of St. Christopher is a fine Christian 
poem. The Greeks, who were a learned, wise, 
and ingenious people, have wished to set forth 
by it what a Christian ought to be (Christophoros, 
he who bears Christ). So with the legend of 
St. George. That of St. Catherine is contrary to 
all Roman history, &c." 

Page 61, col. 2. " When tee read attentively the pro- 
phets." — " I sweat blood and water to give the pro- 
phets in the vulgar tongue. Good God! what labour! 
how difficult to persuade these Jewish writers to 

speak German. They will not forsake their Hebrew 
for our barbarous tongue. It is as if Philomel, losing 
her gracious melody, was obliged ever to sing with 
the cuckoo one monotonous strain." (June 14tli, 
1528.) He says, elsewhere, that whilst translating 
the Bible, he would often devote several weeks to 
elucidating the sense of a single word. (Ukert, ii. 
p. 337.) 

Page 62, col. 1. " With something from the Psa/iiis." 
— From his dedication of his translation of Psalm 
c.Kviii. to the abbot Frederick of Nuremberg. . . . 
" This is my psalm, my chosen psalm. I love them 
all; I love all holy Scripture, which is my consola- 
tion and my life. But this psalm is nearest ray 
heart, and I have a peculiar right to call it mine. 
It has saved me from many a pressing danger, 
from which nor emperor, nor kings, nor sages, nor 
saints, could have saved me. It is my friend; 
dearer to me than all the honours and power of the 
earth. . . . 

" But it may be objected, that this psalm is com- 
mon to all ; no one has a right to call it his own. 
Yes; but Christ is also common to all, and yet 
Christ is mine. I am not jealous of my property; 
I would divide it with the whole world. . . And 
would to God that all men would claim the psalm 
as especially theirs! It would be the most touching 
quarrel, the most agreeable to God — a quaii-el of 
union and perfect charity. "(Coburg, July 1st, 1530.) 

Page 62, col. 2. " Of the Fathers."— At the 
beginning of the year 1519, he wrote to Je- 
rome Diingersheim a remarkable letter on the 
importance and authority of the fathers of 
the Church. " The bishop of Rome is above all 
the others in dignity. It is to him that we must 
address ourselves in all difficult cases and great 
needs : but I allow, nevertheless, that I cannot 
defend against the Greeks this supremacy that 
I accoi-d to him. If I recognized the pope as the 
sole source of power in the Church, I must, as a 
consequence of this doctrine, treat as heretics, 
Jerome, Augustm, Athanasius, Cyprian, Gregory, 
and all the bishops of the east who were established 
neither by him nor under him. The Council of 
Nice was not called by his authority ; he did not 
preside either in person or by a legate. What can 
I say of the decrees of this council ? Is any one 
master of them ? Can any one tell which among 
them to acknowledge ? It is your custom and 
Eck's to believe any one's word, and to modify 
Scripture by the fathers, as if, of the two, they were 
to be preferred. For myself, I feel and act quite 
diff'erently; like Saint Augustin and Saint Bernard, 
whilst respecting all authorities, I ascend from the 
rivulets to the river that gives them birth. (Here 
follow many examples of the errors into which some 
of the fathers had fallen. Luther criticises them 
philologically, showing that they had not understood 
the Hebrew text.) How many texts does not 
Jerome quote erroneously against Jovinian ? and 
so Augustin against Pelagius ? Thus Augustin says 
that the verse of Genesis : ' To make man in our 
own image,' is a proof of the Trinity, but there is in 
the Hebrew text, ' I will make man,' &e. — The 
Magister Scntentiarnm has set a fatal example by 
endeavouring to reconcile the opinions of the 
fathers. The consequence is, that we have become 
a laughing-stock to the heretics when we present 
ourselves before them with these obscure phrases 

and double and doubtful meanings. Eck delights 
in being tlie champion of all these diverse and 
contrary opinions. And it is on this that our dis- 
putation will turn." (a.d. 1519.) 

" I always marvel how, after the apostles, Je- 
rome won the name of Doctor of the Church; and 
Origen, that of Master of the Churches. Their 
works would never make a single Christian. . . . 
So much are they led away by tlie pomp of works. 
Augustin himself would not have been a whit bet- 
ter, had not the Pelagians tried him and compelled 
him to defend the true faith." (August 26th, 1530.) 

" He who dared to compare monkhood with 
baptism was completely mad, was more a stock 
than a brute. What ! and would you believe 
Jerome when he speaks in so impious a way of 
God? when he actually lays it down, that, next to 
ourself, one's relatives should command our cares? 
Would you listen to Jerome, so often in error, so 
often sinful ? Would you, in short, believe in man 
rather than in God himself I Go, then, and be- 
lieve, if you will, with Jerome, that you ought to 
break your parent's hearts in order to fly to the 
desert." (Letter to Sevarinus, an Austrian monk, 
October 6th, 1527.) 

Page 63, col. 1. "but consider that the schoolmen 
in general." — " Gregory of Rimini has convictt/d the 
schoolmen of a worse doctrine than that of the Pela- 
gians. . . . For although the Pelagians think we can 
do a good work without grace, they do not affirm that 
we can obtain heaven without grace. The school- 
men speak like Pelagius when they teach that 
without grace we can do a good work, and not a 
meritorious work. But they out-herod the Pela- 
gians when they add, that man, by inspiration of 
natural reason, may subdue the will, whilst the 
Pelagians allow that man is aided by the law of 
God." (a.d. 1519.) 

Page 65. col. 1. '• I regret not having more time to 
devote." — To Wenceslaus Link of Nuremberg : — " If it 
would not give you too much trouble, my dear Wen- 
ceslaus,I pray you to collect for me all the drawings, 
books, hymns, songs of the Meistersanger, and 
rhjTnes which have been written and printed in 
German this year in your town. Send me as many 
as you can collect; I am impatient to see them. 
Here, we can write works in Latin, but as to Ger- 
man books, we are but apprentices. Still, by dint 
of our earnest application, I hope we may soon suc- 
ceed, so as to give you satisfaction." (March 20th, 

Page 65, C(j1. 1 . " no better books than ^sop''s fables." 
— In 1530, Luther translated a selection of ^sop's 
fables, and in the preface he says, that most likely 
there never was any man of tliat name, but that 
these fables were apparently collected from the 
mouths of the people. (Luth. Werke, ix. p. 455.) 

Page 66, col. 1 . " Singing is the best exercise." — 
Heine, Revue des deux Mondes, March 1st, 1534 : — 
" Not less curious or significant than Luther's 
prose writings, are his poems; those songs, which 
burst forth from him in his exigencies and diffi- 
culties — like the flower that struggles into exist- 
ence from between the stones; a lunar x'ay shedding 
light on an angry ocean. Luther loved music 
passionately; he wrote a treatise on the art, and 
his own compositions are sweet and melodious. 
He obtained and merited the title of the swan of 

Eisleben. But he was any thing but a gentle 
swan in those songs of his in which he rouses the 
courage of his followers, and lashes himself into a 
savage ardour. The song with which (for instance) 
he entered Woi-ms, followed by his companions, 
was a true war-song. The old cathedral shook 
again at the strange sounds, and the ravens were 
disturbed in their nests on the summit of the 
towers. This hymn, the Marseillaise of the Re- 
formation, has preserved to this day its powerful 
energy and expression, and may some day again 
startle us with its sonorous and iron-girt words in 
similar contests. 

" Our God is a fortress, 
A sword and a good armour ; 
He will deliver us from all the dangers 
Which now threaten us. 
The old wicked serpent 
Is bent on our ruin this day ; 
He is armed with power and craft ; 
He has not his like in the world. 

" Your power will avail not, 
You will soon see your ruin ; 
The man of truth fights for us, 
God has himself chosen him. 
Seek you his name .' 
'Tis Jesus Christ, 
The Lord of Sabaoth ; 
There is no other God but He, 
He will keep his ground, He will give the victory. 

" Were the world full of devils 
Longing to devour us, 
Let us not trouble ourselves about them; 
Our undertaking will succeed. 
The prince of this world. 
Although he grins at us. 
Will do us no harm. 
He is sentenced — 
One word will o'erthrow him. 

" They will leave us the word. 
We shall not thank them therefore: 
The word is amongst us. 
With its spirit and its gifts. 
Let them take our bodies, 
Our goods, honour, our children. 
Let them go on — 
They will be no gainers : 
The empire will remain ours." 

Page 66, col. 1. "Of Painting."— The doc- 
tor was one day speaking of the talent and 
skill of the Italian painters. ''They understand," 
said he, "how to imitate nature so wonderfully, 
that, besides giving the colouring and form, they 
express the very attitudes and sentiments to such a 
degree as to make their pictures seem living things. 
The Flemish painters follow in the track of Italy. 
The natives of the Low Countries, and, above all, 
the Flemings, are intelligent, and have an aptitude 
for learning foreign languages. It is a proverb, 
that if a Fleming were carried to Italy or France 
in a sack, he would, nevertheless, learn the lan- 
guage of the country." (Tischreden, p. 424, verso.) 

Page 67, col. 1. " Of Banking." — He says 
in his treatise de Usuris, — " I call usurers, those 
who lend at five and six per cent. The Scrip- 
tures forbid lending on interest ; we ought to 
lend money as willingly as we would a vase to our 
neighbours. Even civil law prohibits usury. It 
is not an act of charity to exchange with any one, 

and to gain by the exchange, but tliieving. A 
usurer, then, is a thief worthy of the gallows. At 
the present day, in Leipsic, the usual interest is 
forty per cent. Pi-omises to usurers need not be 
kept. They are not to be allowed to communicate, 
or to be buried in holy ground. . . . Tlie last advice 
that I have to give to usurers is this: — They want 
money ! gold 1 Well, let them apply to Him who 
will not give them ten or twenty per cent, but a 
hundred for every ten ! His treasures ai'e inex- 
haustible; he can give without being impoverished." 
(Oper. Lat. Luth.^Witt. i. 7, P- 419-447.) 

Di'. Henning proposed this question to Luther, 
" If I had amassed money, and did not wish 
to part with it, and were asked to lend, could I then 
with a good conscience reply, I have no money ?" 
" Yes," said Luther, "you might so do with a safe 
conscience, for it would be the same as saying, I 
have no money to spare. . . . Christ, when he bids 
us give, does not mean to the prodigal and dissi- 
pated. . . . Li this town, I reckon the most needy 
to be the scholars. Their poverty is great, but 
alas ! their laziness is greater still. . . . And must 
I take the bread from the mouths of my wife and 
children, to give to those whom no help benefits ? 
Certainly not." (Tischreden, p. 64.) 

Page 70, col. 1. " The Roman, or imperial law 
otily holds by a thread."— Still Luther preferred it 
to the Saxon law. 

" Dr. Luther, speaking of the gi'eat barbarity 
and rudeness of the Saxon law, said that things 
would go on better, were the imperial law followed 
throughout the empire. But it is a settled belief at 
court that the change could not take place without 
great confusion and mischief." (Tischreden, p. 412.) 

Page 70, col. 1 . "to let the old dog sleep." — In his 
last letter but one to Melanchthon, (February 6th, 
1546,) he says, speaking of the legists, " syco- 
phants, O sophists, pests of mankind ! . . . I 
write to thee in wrath, but I know not that I could 
indite better, were I cool." 

Page 70, col. 1, last line. " Pious jurists." — He 
wishes that their condition could be bettered. 

" Doctors at law gain too little, and are obliged to 
turn attorneys. In Italy, a jurist has four hundred 
ducats, or more, yearly, whilst in Germany their 
salary is only a hundred. They ought to be ensured 
honourable pensions, as ought good and pious pas- 
tors and preachers. For lack of this, in order to 
support their families, they are obliged to apply to 
agriculture and domestic cares." (Tischreden, p. 

Page 71. Additions to Chapter 3. Book V. — 
Confidential discussion between Luther and Me- 
lanchthon. (a.d. 1536.) 

Melanchthon inclined to the opinion of Saint 
Augustin, who held "that we are justified by faith 
and regenei'ation ;" and who, under the name of 
regeneration, includes all the graces and virtues 
that we derive from God*. " What is your opi- 
nion V he asked of Luther; " do you hold with 
Saint Augustin, that men are justified by regene- 
ration V 

Luther replies, " I hold so, and am certain that 
the true meaning of the Gospel and of the Apostles 

* Melanchthon observes, that Saint Augustin does not 
express this opinion in his controversial works. 

is, that we are justified before God by faith gratis ; 
i. e. only by God's mere mercy, wherewith, and by 
reason whereof, he imputeth righteousness to us 
in Christ." 

Melanchthon then inquires, " But will you not 
allow me to say, Sir, that man is justified principa- 
liter (principally) by faith, and viiims principaliter 
(in the least measure) by works \ yet in such man- 
ner that faith supplieth that which is wanting in 
the law I" 

Luther. — "The mercy of God is our sole justi- 
fication. The righteousness of works is but external, 
and can by no means deliver us from God's wrath, 
and sin, and death." 

Melanchthon. — " I ask touching Saint Paul, 
after he was regenerated, how became he justified 
and rendered acceptable to God V 

Luther. — " Solely by reason of this same rege- 
neration, by which he became justified by faith, 
and will remain so everlastingly." 

Melanchthon. — " Was he justified by God's 
mercy only ? or principally by the mercy, and less 
principally by his virtues and works V 

Luther. — " No. His virtues and woi-ks were 
only pleasing to God because they were Saint 
Paul's, who was justified ; like as a work is pleasing 
or displeasing, good or evil, according to the pei'son 
who performs it." 

Melanchthon. — " Then it seems Saint Paul was 
not justified by mercy only. You yourself teach 
that the righteousness of works is necessary before 
God; and that Saint Paul, who had faith and who 
did good works, pleased God as he svould not have 
done if he had not these good works, making our 
righteousness a little piece of the cause of our 

Luther. — " Not at all. Good works are necessary, 
but not out of compulsion by the law, but out of the 
necessity of a willing mind. The sun must needs 
shine — that is a necessity ; but it is not by reason 
of any law that he shines, but by his nature, by a 
quality inherent and immutable. It was created to 
shine. Even so one that is justified and regenerate 
doeth good works not by any law or constraint, 
but by an unchangeable necessity. And Saint Paul 
saith, ' We are God's worhnanship, created in Christ 
Jesus to good works,' ^c." 

Melanchthon.- — " Sadolet accuses us of contra- 
dicting ourselves, in teaching that we are justified 
by faith — yet admitting the necessity of good 

Luther. — " It is, because the false brethren and 
hypocrites make a show, as if they believed that 
we require of them works, to confound them in 
their knavery." 

Melanchthon. — " You say Saint Paul was justi- 
fied by God's mercy only ; to which I reply, that if 
our obedience foUoweth not,'then are we not saved, 
according to these words (1 Cor. ix.), ' Woe is unto 
me, if I preach not the Gospel.'' " 

Luther. — " There is no want of any thing to 
add to faith. Faith is all-powerful, otherwise it is 
no faith. Therefore of what value soever the 
works are, the same they are through the power 
of faith, which undeniably is the sun or sunbeam 
of this shining." 

Melanchthon. — " In Saint Augustin, works are 
directly excluded in the words sola fide." 

Luther. — " Whether it be so or no, Saint Au- 
gustin plainly shows he is of our opinion when he 

saith, ' I am afraid, but I do not despair, for I 
think upon the wounds of our Saviour ;' and else- 
where, in his Confessions, he saith : ' Woe be to the 
life of that human creature (be it ever so good and 
praiseworthy) that disregardeth God's mercy. . .' " 

Melanchthon. — " Is it proper to say that right- 
eousness of works is necessary to salvation ?" 

Luther. — " Not in the sense that works procure 
salvation, but that they are the inseparable com- 
panions of the faith which justifieth, as I, of 
necessity, must be present at my salvation. . . . 
' I shall be there as well as you,' said the man 
they were taking to be hanged, and who saw the 
people running as hard as they could towards the 
gallows. . . . The faith, which is the gift of God, 
is the beginning of righteousness ; after that, the 
works are required which are commanded by the 
law, and which must be done after and besides 
faith. The works are not righteousness tiiemselves 
in the sight of God, although they adorn the per- 
son accidentally, who doeth them ; but they justify 
not the person, for we are all justified one way, in 
and by Christ. To conclude, a faithful person is a 
new creature, a new tree. Therefore all these 
speeches used in the law are not belonging to this 
case, as to say, a faithful person must do (/ood works, 
the sun must shine, a (jood tree nmst bring forth 
good fruit, three and seven shall be ten. For the 
sun shall not shine, but it doth shine, by nature 
unbidden ; likewise a good tree bringeth forth 
good fruit without bidding. Three and seven are 
already ten, not shall be ; there is no need to 
command what is already done." 

The following passage is moi'e to the purpose 
still, " I use to think in this manner, as if my 
heart were no quality or virtue at all, called faith 
or love (as the sophists do dream of), but I set all 
on Christ, and say niea formalis justitia, that is, my 
sure, constant, and complete righteousness (in which 
is no want nor failing, but is before God as it 
ought to be) is Christ my Lord and Saviour." 
(Tischreden, p. 133.) 

This passage is one of those which most strongly 
shows the intimate connexion of Luther's doctrine 
with the system of absolute identification. It is 
plain how the German philosophy ended in that of 
Schelling and Hegel. 

Page 71, col. 1. " good and true divinity." — 
The Papists threw great ridicule on the four 
new Gospels : that of Luther, who condemned 
works ; that of Kuntius, who rebaptized adults ; 
that of Otho de Brunfels, who regarded the 
Scripture only as a purely cabalistic recitation, 
surda si7ie spiritu narratio ; and finally, that of the 
Mystics. (Cochlfeus, p. 165.) They might have 
added that of Dr. Paulus Ricius, a Jewish doctor, 
who published, during the diet at Ratisbon, a 
little book in which Moses and St. Paul de- 
monstrated in a dialogue how all the religious 
opinions, which excited such disputes, might be 

Page 72, col. 1. " I saw a small cloud of fire in the 
air" — " I incline to think from the comet, that some 
danger is threatening the emperor and Ferdinand. 
It turned its tail at first towards the north, then 
towards the south ; thus pointing out the two 
brothers." (October, 1531.) 

Page 72, col. 2. " Michael Stiefel believes himself ^ 
— " Michael Stiefel, with his seventh trumpet, pro- 

phesies that the day of judgment will fall this yeai', 
about All Saints' Day." (August 2Gth, 1533.) 

Page 77, col. 1. " The detil, in truth, has not gradu- 
ated."—^^ It is a wonderful thing," says Bossuet, " to 
hear how solemnly and earnestly he describes his 
waking with a sudden start in the middle of the 
night — manifestly the work of the devil come to dis- 
pute with him. The alarm which seized him ; the 
sweats; the tremblings; the horrible beatings of the 
heart in this combat; the pressing arguments of the 
demon, leaving the mind not one instant of rest; the 
tones of his powerful voice; the overwhelming man- 
ner of the dispute, in which question and answer 
were heard at one and the same moment. ' I now 
understand,' says he, ' how sudden deaths so often 
happen towards moi'uing; it is, that not only 
the devil can kill and strangle men, but that he 
has the power to set them so beside themselves 
with these disputes, as to leave them half-dead, as 
I have several times experienced.' " (De Abro- 
gandii Missa Privata, t. vii. p. 222. Trad, de Bos- 
suet, Variations, ii. p. 203.) 

Page 80, col. 1. "At dinner, after preaching at 
Smalkalde." — He wrote to his wife upon this ill- 
ness, " I have been like to one dead . I recom- 
mended thee and our children to God and to our 
Saviour, believing that I should see you no more. 
I was much moved as I thought of you ; 1 beheld 
myself in the tomb. The prayers and tears of 
pious people who love me, have found favour before 
God. This very night I have had a favourable 
crisis, and I feel a ' new man.' " (February 27th, 

Luther experienced a dangerous relapse at Wit- 
temberg. Obliged to remain at Gotha, he thought 
himself dying, and dictated to Bugenhagen, who 
was with him, his last will. He declaimed that he 
had combated papacy according to his conscience, 
and asked pardon of Melanchthon, of Jonas, and 
of Creuziger, for the wrongs he might have done 
them. (Ukert, t. i. 325.) 

Page 80, col. 1. "/ believe my true malady." — 
Luther suffered early in life from stone; and was a 
martyr to it. He was operated upon the 27th of 
February, 1537. " By God's grace, I am getting 
convalescent, and have begun to eat and drink, 
though my legs, knees, and joints tremble so that 
I can with difficulty support myself. I am only, 
not to speak of infirmities and old age, a walking 
skeleton, cold and torpid." (December 6th, 1537.) 

Page 82, col. 2. " his last days were painfully em- 
ployed." — He had tried in vain to reconcile the 
counts of Mansfeld. "If," says he, "you would 
bring into your house a tree that has been cut 
down, you must not take it by the top, or the 
branches will stick in the doorway ; take it by the 
root, and the branches will yield to the enti'ance." 
(Tischreden, p. 355.) 

Page 84. — We here throw together several par- 
ticulars relative to Luther. 

Erasmus says of him : " His morals are unani- 
mously praised ; it is the highest testimony man 
can have, that his enemies even can find no flaw 
in them for calumny.'' (Ukert, t. ii. p. 5.) 

Luther was fond of simple pleasures. He loved 
music, and would often bear his share in a friendly 
concert, or play a game of skittles with his friends. 
Melanchthon says of him, " Whoever has kiio\v n 
him, and seen him often and familiarly, will allow 



that he was a most excellent man, gentle and 
agreeable in society, not in the least obstinate or 
given to disputation, yet with all the gravity be- 
coming his character. If he showed any great 
severity in combating the enemies of the true doc- 
trine, it was fi'om no malignity of nature, but from 
ardour and enthusiasm for the truth." (Ukert, 
t. ii. p. 12.) 

" Although he was neither of small frame nor 
weak constitution, he was extremely temperate in 
eating and drinking. I have seen him, when in 
full health, pass four days together without taking 
any food, and often go a whole day with only a 
little bread and a herring." i^Life of Luther, by 

Melanchthon says, in his posthumous works : 
" I have myself often found him shedding bitter 
tears, and praying earnestly to God for the welfare 
of the Chm'ch. He devoted part of each day to 
reading the Psalms, and to invoking God with all 
the fervour of his soul." (Ukert, t. ii. p. 7-) 

Lvither says of himself : " If I were as eloquent 
and gifted as Erasmus, as good a Greek scholar as 
Joachim Camerarius, as learned in Hebrew as 
Forscher, and a little younger into the bargain, 
ah ! what I would accomplish !" (Tischreden, p. 

" Amsdorf, the licentiate, is a theologist by na- 
ture ; doctors Creuziger and Jonas are so from 
study and reflection. But doctor Pomer and my- 
self seldom lay ourselves open in argument." (Tisch- 
reden, p. 425.) 

To Antoine Unruche, judge at Torgau. . . . " I 
thank you with all my heart, dear Anthony, for 
having taken in hand the cause of Margaret 
Dorst, and for not having suffered those insolent 
country squires to take from the poor woman the 
little she has. Doctor Martin is, you know, not 
only theologian and defender of the faith, but also 
the supporter of the poor in their rights, who come 
to him from all quarters, for his counsel, and inter- 
vention with the authorities; he willingly aids the 
poor, as you do yourself, and all who resemble you. 
You are truly pious, you fear God, and love his 
word; therefore Jesus Christ will not forget you," 
. . . (June 22nd, 1538.) 

Luther writes to his wife on the subject of an 
old servant who was about to quit their house : 
" Our old John must be honourably discharged; 
thou knowest that he has always served us faith- 
fully, with zeal, and as became a Christian ser- 
vant. How much have we not squandered on 
worthless people and ungrateful students, who 
have made a bad use of our money ! We must not, 
therefore, be niggardly on this occasion, towards 
so honest a servant, on whom whatever we lay 
out will be laid out in a way pleasing to God. I 
well know we are not rich; I would willingly give 
him ten florins if I had them; in any case he must 
not have less than five, for he is not well clothed. 
Whatever more you can do for him, do it, I beg of 
you. It is true that he ought also to have some- 
thing out of the city chest for the various offices he 
has filled in the Church ; let them do as they will. 
Consider then how thou mayst raise this money; 
we have a silver goblet to place in pawn. God 
will not abandon us I feel sure. Adieu." (Febru- 
ary 17th, 1532.) 

" The prince has given me a gold ring ; but in 
order that I may well understand that I was not 

born to wear gold, the ring has already fallen off 
my finger (for it is a little too large). I said, 
' Thou art but a worm of the earth, and no man : this 
gold would better have become Faber or Eck; 
for thee, lead, or a cord for thy neck, would suit 
thee bettei'.' " (September 15th, 1530.) 

The elector on levying a tax for the war against 
the Turks, had exempted Luther from it. The latter 
said he accepted this mark of favour fur his two 
houses, one of which (the ancient convent) it had 
cost him much to keep up without bringing him in 
any thing ; and for the other he had not yet 
paid. " But," continues he, " I pray your elec- 
toral grace, in all submission, to allow me to defray 
the assessment on my other possessions. I have a 
garden estimated to be worth five hundred florins, 
some land valued at ninety florins, and a small 
garden worth twenty. I prefer doing as the 
rest, fighting the Turks with my farthings, and 
not to be excluded from the army which is to 
save us. There are enough already who do not 
give willingly ; I would not be a cause of jealousy. 
It is better to give no occasion for complaint, so 
that they cannot but say, ' Dr. Martin is also obliged 
to pay.' " (March 26th, 1542.) 

To tlie Elector John. " Grace and peace in Jesus 
Christ. Most serene highness, I have long delayed 
to thank your grace for the robes you have been 
pleased to send me ; I do so now with my whole 
heart. Nevertheless, I humbly pray your grace, 
not to believe those who represent me as in utter 
destitution. I am but too rich, as my conscience 
tells me ; it does not behove me as a preacher to 
be in affluence ; I neither desire, nor ask it. The 
repeated favours of your grace truly begin to alarm 
me. I should not wish to be of those to whom the 
Saviour says, 'Woe to you, ye rich, for you have 
received your consolation !' Neither would I be a 
burden upon your grace, whose purse must be in 
constant requisition for so many importunate ob- 
jects. Already had your grace amply provided 
me by sending me the brown suit ; but, not to 
appear ungrateful, I will also wear in honour of 
your grace the black suit, although too rich for 
me ; if it had not been a present from your electoral 
grace, I should never have put on such a dress. 

" I therefore pray your grace will have the 
goodness to wait until 1 take the liberty of asking 
for something. This kindness on your grace's 
part will deprive me of courage to intercede for 
others, who may be far more worthy of favour. 
That Jesus Christ may recompense your generous 
soul, is the pi-ayer that I offer up with my whole 
heart. Amen." (August 17th, 1520.) 

John the Constant made a present to Luther of 
the ancient convent of the Augustins at Wittem- 
berg. The elector Augustus bought it back of his 
heirs in 1504, to give it to the university. (Ukert, 
t. i. p. 347.) 

Places inhabited by Luther, and objects kept in vene- 
ration of his memory. — The house in which Luther 
was born, no longer exists ; it was biu'nt in WiliO. 
At Wartburg, they still show a stain of ink on the 
wall made by Luther in throwing his inkstand at 
the devil's head. The cell whicli he occupied at 
the convent of Wittemberg, has also been pre- 
served with the different articles of furniture 
belonging to him. The walls of this cell are 
covered with the names of visitors : Peter the 
Great's name is to be seen written on the door. 



At Cobui'g they show the room which he occupied 
during the diet of Augsburg (a. d. 1530). 

Luther used to wear a gold ring, with a small 
death's head in enamel, and these words, Mori 
scepe coijita (Think oft of death); round the setting 
was engraved, mors, ero mors tua (Death, I will 
be thy death). This ring is preserved at Dresden, 
with the medal of silver-gilt worn by Luther's 
wife. On this medal is represented a serpent raising 
itself on the bodies of the Israelites, with these 
words : Serpens exaltatus tijpus Christi crucifixi (The 
serpent e.xalted typifies Christ crucified). The 
reverse i-epi'esents Jesus Christ on the cross, with 
this motto : Christus mortuus est pro peccatis nostrls 
(Christ died for our sins) On the one side one 
reads, D. Mart. Letter. Caterince suce dono D. H. F. 
(A present from Dr. Martin Luther to his wife). 
And on the other, Quce nata est anno 1499, 29 
Januarii (Who was born Jan. 29th, 1499). 

He had also a seal, which he has himself de- 
scribed to in a letter to Lazarus Spengler: — "Grace 
and peace in Jesus Christ. Dear Sir and friend, — 
You tell me I shall please you by explaining the 
meaning of what you see engraved upon my seal. 
I proceed, therefore, to acquaint you with what I 
have had engraved on it, as a symbol of my faith. 
First, there is a black cross, with a heart in the 
centre. This cross is to remind me that faith in 

the Crucified is our salvation. Whosoever believes 
in him with all his soul, is justified. The cross is 
black, to signify mortification, the troubles through 
which the Christian must pass. The heart, how- 
ever, preserves its natural colour, for the cross 
neither changes nature uor kills it ; the cross 
gives life. Justus fide mvlt sed fide Crucifixi. The 
heart is placed on a white rose, to indicate that 
faith gives consolation, joy, and peace ; the rose is 
white, not red, because it is not the joy and peace 
of this world, but that of the angeHc spirits. White 
is the colour of spirits and of angels. The rose is 
in an azure field, to show that this joy of the spirit 
and the faith is a beginning of that celestial hap- 
piness which awaits us, of which we already have 
the foretaste in the hope which we enjoy of it, but 
the consummation of which is yet to come. In 
the azure field you see a circle of pure gold, to in- 
dicate that the felicity of heaven is everlasting, and 
as superior to every other joy, all other good, as 
gold is to all other metals. May Jesus Christ, our 
Lord, be with you unto eternal life. Amen. From 
my desert at Coburg, July 8th, 1530." 

At Altenburg they preserved for a long time the 
drinking-glass which was used by Luther the last 
time he visited his friend Spalatin. (Ukert, t. i. 
p. 245, et seqq.) 


London: Gilbert and Rivington, Printers, St. John's Square. 








G. H. SMITH, F.G.S. 



The popularity attained by the present work is almost without precedent. It passed through seven 
editions in the course of eight months ; and has been translated in almost every country in Europe. 

Pecjiliar cii'cumstances precipitated its publication. ; 

Its authors, M. Michelet and M. QAiinet, both professors in the College de France, and who are doubly 
united by the ties of friendship and by conformity of opinions, had begun a course of lectures in , 
the spring of 1843, on the spirit and influence of the Religious Orders. They had concluded a course 
on the Order of Knights Templars, and had commenced one on the Society of Jesus, in which tliey pro- 
ceeded to treat of its constitution, its origin, of the part it has played in the past and that it is still | 
playing in the world, when they were subjected to a system of violent interruption and illiberal oppo- 
sition in the view of compelling them to silence, over which their firmness obtained a complete U-iumph. j 
They felt their right to speak as their conscience dictated, and spoke accordingly. i 

The pi'esent volume is the substance of the lectures, which have excited so fierce a polemical contest. 

It is not published offensively, but defensively ; and if it has had the happy fortime to be welcomed | 

by men of nearly all parties, the secret of its success has been that the cause of pubUc morality and good j 

faith was at stake. i 

Certain members of the clergy have, unhappily, sought to identify the cause of the Church with j 

that of Jesuitism, amongst others, the archbishop of Paris ; and the question has been revived by the : 

passing of the bill relative to Public Instruction. The most aspiring doctrines have been promulgated j 

under the mask of liberty ; but the sound tenets advanced by MM. Michelet and Quinet, supported as | 

they have been by the most eminent membera of the Chamber of Deputies, by the most distinguished \ 

professors of the Sorbonne, and by the most influential membei-s of the bench and of the bar, must, [ 
beyond a doubt, ultimately triumph. 

In the short space of two years, upwards of two hundred volumes have appeared, attacking or 

defending the present work. To MM. Michelet and Quinet belongs the honour of having been the first , 

to unveil the new pretensions of the Jesuits, and the base hopes of this ever insatiable order. This ' 

work of theirs has been the subject-matter of the important discussions which have alike agitated our I 

senate and our universities ; and has been followed up by the publication of M. Quinet's work on j 

" Ultra-montanism" and of M. Michelet's celebrated " PriesU, Women, and FamUks." \ 




On Modern Macliinism : on Moral Machinism 


Reactions of the past. Revisitations : Perinde ac 

..." 1 


Education, Divine and Human. — The Education which 
is contrary to nature 12 


Liberty, Fecundity. — Sterility of the Jesuits 14 

Free Association, Fecundity. — Sterility of the Church 
in Bondage 16 

The Spirit of Life ; the Spirit of Death 19 


Introduction 23 

On Liberty of Discussion in Matters of Religion 25 

Origin of Jesuitism; Ignatius Loyola: the Spiritual 
Exercises 30 


On the Jesuit Missions 40 

Political Theories: Ultra-raontanism 45 


Rules of the Order. Christian Pharisaism 35 I Philosophy of Jesuitism. — Conclusion SO 




What the futui'e lias in store for us, God only 
knows ! . . . My sole prayer is, that if He think 
fit again to visit us, it will be with the sword. . . . 

The wounds inflicted by the sword are clean, 
frank wounds; they bleed and heal. But what is 
to be done with those disgraceful wounds one feels 
loth to disclose, which grow inveterate, and are 
constantly spreading ? 

Of wounds of this kind, the one most to be feared 
is the introduction of the spirit of police into re- 
ligious matters — the spirit of pious intrigue, of 
saintly approvership, the spirit of the Jesuits. 

May God be pleased to lay upon us ten times 
the amount of political tyranny, of military tyranny, 
of all the tyrannies, in short, we have ever suffered, 
rather than this France of ours be ever defiled by 
a clerical police ! . . . There is, indeed, this good 
in tyranny, that it will often awaken the dormant 
national feehng ; and then it either crushes or 
is crushed. But this feeling extinct, and gangrene 
once established in your flesh and your bones, how 
be rid of it 1 

Tyranny is satisfied with the outward man, with 
the control of his acts. A clerical police would 
attach his very thoughts. 

And, by the gradual change such a police would 
effect in the habits of thought, the soul, vitiated in 
her essential properties, would at length degenerate 
into another nature. 

A lying, flattering soul, a crouching, sorry soul, 
which despises itself— can we call such a thing a soul? 

Change worse than death itself. .... Death 
kills the body only ; but the soul gone, what re- 
mains ? 

When death ends you, you survive in your sons. 

* The authors of these lectures were led by circumstances, 
and without the slightest knowledge of each other's inten- 
tion, to treat of the same subject. When they found this to 
be the case, they made a division of the principal branches 
into which it naturally distributed itself, and the result of 
this friendly partnership is the present volume. As their 
respective lectures are parts of one whole, as they are the 
complement of each other and dictated by the same spirit, 
it seems desirable to unite them under the same title; and, 
besides, this union of their hearts and thoughts is too 
precious to the writers to have allowed them to forbear from 
attempting to give it a durable record. 

But when this spiritual death overtakes you, 
children and future are alike lost.- 

Jesuitism, the spirit of police and of approver- 
ship, the mean baseness of the spy pupil, once 
transferred from school, college, and convent into 
the community at large — how hideous the spec- 
tacle ! . . . A whole nation living like a Jesuit 
seminary ; that is to say, the whole community 
acting the spy upon one another — treachery at 
your very fireside, the wife the spy on the hus- 
band, the child on the mother .... no other 
sound heard than a sad murmur and rustling of 
human beings confessing the sins of others, and 
absorbed in mutual harassings and backbitings. 

This is no mere sketch of the fancy, I have 
before my eyes a whole people whom the Jesuits 
are daily plunging a step lower in this hell of 
everlasting corruption. 

"But do you not betray France by pretending 
to think that she fears such a danger ? Can you 
possibly conceive that a poor thousand of Jesuits, 
— for they number no more *." .... 

In twelve years' time only, those thousand men 
have worked a miracle. Struck down in 1830, 
crushed and prostrate, they have recovered their 
ground beyond all expectation. Not only have 
they recovered it; but whilst men were asking one 
another, " Are there any Jesuits now ? " they have 
taken away from us, and that easily, our thirty or 
forty thousand priests, have converted them into 
their own followers, and are leading them God 
knows whither ! 

" Are there any Jesuits now ? " Many a man 
asks this question, whose wife is already theirs, 
through a confessor in their interests — wife, house, 

• According to an apparently accurate estimate there are 
at this moment (1843) upwards of nine hundred and sixty 
Jesuits in France. At the epoch of the Three Days, there 
were only four hundred and twenty-three, and they were 
then concentrated in a few houses, whilst they are now 
scattered over every diocese. They are busied in every 
, direction. Three have just gone to Algiers ; several to 
Russia; and they have got Mexico and New Grenada to 
petition the pope to send thither some members of the 
society of Jesuits. Masters of the Valais, they have just 
contrived to get possession of Lucerne as well, and of the 
smal ler cantons, &c. 


table, fireside, bed .... and, in a trice, liis child 
will be theirs *. 

*A.nd where, then, are the clergy of France ? 

Where are all those parties which were the life 
of our Galilean church at the Restoration ? Ex- 
tinct, dead, annihilated. 

What has become of the small Jansenist party, 
small, but full of energy ? I look aroimd, and see 
only the grave of Lanjuiuais. 

Where is M. de Montlosier ? Where are our 
loyal Galileans who desired a cordial agreement 
between church and state ? They have dis- 
appeared. They have most likely thought it need- 
ful to desert the state, which was deserting them. 
Who would dare uow-a-days in France to call 
himself GalHcan, or protest in the name of the 
church of France ? 

The timid Sulpician opposition (hardly Galilean, 
however, and which held the Four Articles but 
cheap) died with M. Frayssinous. 

St. Sulpice has confined herself to education for 
the priesthood, and to her scholastic duties, leaving 
the world to the Jesuits. Indeed, this seminary 
seems to have been created for their special delight. 
So long as the priest is brought up there, they have 
nothing to fear. What can they desire more than 
a school which neither teaches nor will suffer to be 
taught t I The Jesuits and St. Sulpice are on most 
excellent terms ; the compact has been silently 
struck between death and the void. 

One can know little more of what is done in 
these seminaries, hedged in as they are against 
interference from the authorities, than from the 
nothingness of their results. Their text-books, 
indeed, are patent; superannuated works, considered 
by all the rest of the world as rubbish, and which 
are still forced down our unhappy young priests J. 
How can one be surprised, then, at their quitting 
the seminary as ignorant of science and letters as of 
the world ? The first step they take in it, they 
feel that they are utterly without the helps they 
need, and the most prudent keep their mouths shut. 
Whenever an opportunity off'ei's, the Jesuit or the 
Jesuit's missionary presents himself, and mounts 
the pulpit ; the priest keeps in the background. 

And yet he is neither deficient in natural talent 

• Once for all, I beg it to be understood, notwithstanding 
the reiterated charges of the Jesuits, charges which they 
know to be false, that the question of liberty of instruction, 
and of what they call the university monopoly, is altogether 
foreign from the present subject, and that not a word 
relative to it will be found in this volume. I have some 
very dear friends in the university; but, since 1838, I have 
ceased to belong to it. 

t The archbishop of Paris has solicited the teachers of 
St. Sulpice, but without effect, to allow their pupils to 
attend the course of lectures given by the faculty of 

t To the great danger of their morality. My wonder is 
that these young priests, trained in such a casuistical 
fashion, preserve any decent and upright feelings. " But 
don't you see," said a bishop, " that it is a medical work ?" 
. . . Yes, but there are medical works which, under pre- 
tence of treating of such or such a disease, now unknown 
(or even imaginary and physically impossible), defile both 
patient and physician. The cynical assurance with which 
all this is defended, shows ttie necessity of throwing open 
these seminaries, now hermetically closed, and where no 
one knows what goes on, to public supervision. Nay, some 
convents have been absolutely converted into houses of 

nor in heart. . . . The fault is not theirs. All is 
against them. 

Of this they are but too conscious; and the very 
consciousness contributes to depress and sink them 
below themselves. Disliked by the world, ill- 
treated by his own order, the parish priest (look at 
him walking in the street) creops sadly along, with 
a more than modest, with a timid air, and ever 
giving the wall ! 

But would you see a man ? Look at that Jesuit. 
A man, do I say ? many men in one ! His voice 
is low, but his step firm. His very gait says, 
without his putting it in words, " I am legion." 
Courage is easy for him who feels a whole army at 
his back ; who knows that he can turn for support 
to the great body of Jesuits, and to a whole world 
of titled folk and of beauteous ladies, who, if need 
be, will move heaven and earth for him. 

He has taken a vow of obedience — to reign, to be 
pope with the pope, to have his share in the grand 
kingdom of the Jesuits, diffused over all kingdoms, 
and whose interests he follows up by a close and 
active correspondence, from Belgium into Italy, 
and from Bavaria into S.avoy. The Jesuit's home 
is Europe. Yesterday at Fribourg, he will be to- 
morrow at Paris. The priest's home is his parish, 
and the small dark street running along the church 
wall. He may be but too well compared to the poor 
sickly gillyflower which he rears on his window- 

Let us look at these two men at their work. . . . 
And, first, let us watch which way that female, 
who seems engrossed by thought and care, who 
is just entering the square in front, and who seems 
altogether undecided, will turn. . . . The left 
hand will take her to the priest's, the right to the 
Jesuit seminary. 

On the one hand, what will she find ? An honest 
man ; and, under that stiff", ungainly form, a man 
of heart, perhaps, who has been labouring his whole 
life to stifle his passions ; in other words, to acquire 
complete ignorance of the very matters on which 
he will be sure to be consulted. The Jesuit, on the 
contrary, is well prepared on all such subjects ; can 
adduce precedents ; easily point out the venial and 
extenuating side ; and can arrange the whole God- 
ward, and, sometimes, irorld-ward. 

The priest bi-ings with him the Law and the De- 
calogue, like a weight of lead. He is slow, full of 
objections and difficulties. You tell him of your 
scruples, and his own mind suggests more. You 
think yourself in a bad state, and he finds you to be 
in a worse. Here is a dilemma ; but 'tis your own 
fault. Why do you not go to that Italian chapel, 
tricked out, and all-allui-ing as it is ? Though it be 
dimly lighted, fear not ; go in, and yon will soon be 
reassured and comforted. . . . Your case of con- 
science is a very simple matter ; you will find a 
clear-headed man there, who will prove this to you 
beyond a shadow of doubt. What was it you said 
about the Law ? The Law may be the rule in the 
parish church, but here reigns Grace ; here is the 
Sacrt Cceur * of Jesus and of Mary. . . . The 
kind Virgin is so kind f ! 

• (The "Sacred Heart;" the representation of a heart on 
a cross, commemorative of the Atonement, which, blessed 
by the priest, is a common ornament of churches and 
of private houses in Catholic countries.) — Translator. 

t The Jesuit is not confessor only, he is director, (spiritual 
director 1) and, in this capacity, is consulted on all matters. 


There is another grand distinction betwixt these 
two men. The priest is tied down, in many re- 
spects, by his church, by the local authorities ; he 
is under control, — a minor, as it were. The priest 
stands in awe of the rector {mre), and the rector of 
the bishop. The Jesuit stands in awe of no one. 
All his order asks fi"om him, is the advancement of 
his order. The bishop has no authority over him. 
And, indeed, what bishop would, now-a-days, be 
bold enough to doubt the Jesuit's being himself 
the rule and the law? 

So far from being in the way, the bishop is a 
great help. He gives the hold on the priests. His 
staff is stretched out over them ; and, managed by a 
young vicar-general, who aspires to be bishop, that 
staff becomes a rod of iron. . . . 

Beware, then, priest ! Woe to thee if thou 
budgest. . . . Preach seldom; write not at all. 
Shouldst thou write a line ! . . . Suspension, in- 
terdict, would follow, without inquiry or explana- 
tion. Have the imprudence to ask to be allowed 
to explain, and the answer will be, " 'Tis a question 
of morals. . . .* " As well would it be for the 
priest to be drowned, a stone round his neck ! 

It is said that there are no longer any serfs in 
France. . . . Why, there are forty thousand. . . I 
advise them to be silent, to swallow their tears, 
and to try to smile. 

Many would only be too glad to be silent, and 
to vegetate in a corner. . . . But they are not 
allowed to escape so. They must speak, and bite ; 
and, from their pulpit, must damn Bossuet. 

I have known some compelled to get off by rote 
and fulminate a sermon against a living author 
whom they had never read. . . . Set on, as dogs 
are set on at the astonished passer by, who is all 
at a loss for tlie cause. . . . 

Wretched, anti-Christian, anti-human position ! 
. . . They wlio force them into it, laugh. . But they 
whom they attack and believe to be their enemies, 
can only weep. 

Stop at random any one in the street, and ask 
him, " What are the Jesuits ?" He will reply at 
once, and unhesitatingly, " The counter-Revolution." 

This is the firm belief of the people, from 
which they have never vai'ied, and which you 
cannot change. 

If any have been surprised when they heard 
this term used in the College de France, the reason 
may be that we have lost its true sense in our 
superabundance of intellect. 

Ye great intellects, who would blush to attend 
to the voice of the people, list to that of know- 
ledge — search, study — and, after you have spent 
ten years in studying the history and writings of 
the Jesuits, I will take upon me to say that you 
will attach but one meaning to the whole — The 
Death of Liberty. 

In this capacity, too, he hy no means conceives himself 
bound to secresy ; so that twenty directors who live 
together can bring into one common stock, examine, com- 
pare, and combine the thousands of souls which are laid 
open to them, and through which they look as if trans- 
parent, from one side to the other {de part en part). ... In 
conclaves of this kind, marriages, wills, and all the aflfairs 
of their penitents of both sexes, can be discussed and 

* (That is, the priest will be told that he is suspended, not 
because he has published, but on account of immoralities 
which have come to his superior's knowledge.) — Trans- 

The day that this expression was first uttered, 
the whole pi-ess (a harmony unknown before) 
welcomed it without a dissentient voice ; and, 
wherever the press reached, it found an echo, 
down to the humblest ranks of the community. 

For answer, they bethought themselves of the 
strange reply, " We do not exist." . . . They 
made a boast of their numbers in April ; and, 
in June, would fain hide themselves. 

And what is the good of denial 1 No one will 
be taken in by words. Call out Liberty! as you 
list ; give yourself out as of this or that party ; 
'tis no matter to us. If your heart be Jesuit, go 
on ; that is the road to Fribourg. If you are 
frank and above-board, hither ; this is I'rance ! 

Looking at the decay of parties and the approxi- 
mation, from motives more or less disinterested, 
now taking place between many men who enter- 
tain opposite opinions, it would seem as if thei'e 
would presently be only two parties left, as there 
are only two spirits — The spirit of Life and the 
spirit of Death. 

This is a far graver and more dangerous situa- 
tion than any in which the country has stood 
of late years, notwithstanding immediate shocks 
are less to be apprehended from it. Though what 
if the spirit of death, having triumphed over 
religion, should spread to politics, literature, and 
art, should seize on all that there is of life in the 
body politic ? 

Be it our hope that the progress of the men of 
death will be stayed. . . . Light has pierced into 
the sepulchre. . . . We know, and shall soon 
know better still, how these spectres have walked 
in the night. . . . 

How, whilst we slept, they stole with wolf-like 
prowl, and surprised the defenceless, surprised 
priests, and women, and nunneries. 

The number of worthy, excellent people, meek 
brothers, chaintable sisters, who have been thus 
cozened, is beyond all conception. . . . How many 
convents have opened their doors to them, de- 
ceived by their hypocritical whine ; where, now, 
they speak in authoritative tone, and whose in- 
mates, in their fear, smile, whilst they tremble, 
and do whatever they are ordered. 

Show me, if you can, any wealthy charity (une 
ceuvre riche) where they do not possess the chief 
influence, where they do not have everything given 
as they wish, and to whom they wish. And, as a 
corollary, every poor corporation (missionary, 
picpus, Lazarists, Benedictines even) have gone 
to take the word of command from them : so that 
now the whole forms, as it were, a great army, 
which the Jesuits are bravely leading on to the 
conquest of the world. 

Astonishing, that in so short a space of time 
such a body of forces should have been got 
together ! However great our belief in the ability 
of the Jesuits, that is not enough to account for so 
great a result. A mysterious hand has plainly 
been at work ... the hand which, skilfully guided, 
has, from the first day the world ever saw, 
pliantly worked the miracles of cunning, weak, but 
resistless— woman's hand. The Jesuits have em- 
ployed the instrument of which St. Jerome speaks 
— " Poor little women, all covered with sins !" 

We show an apple to a child to entice him to 
come over to us. Well ; our women have been 


shown graceful little acts of feminine devotion, 
holy playthings invented yesterday — a little world 
of idol worsliip has been got up for them. . . How 
would St. Louis cross and bless himself, could he 
return and see ! He would not stay two days. 
He would prefer going back to his captivity among 
the Saracens. 

These new fashions were essential to the gaining 
over of the women. Whoever wishes to catch 
them must fall in with their little weaknesses, their 
little manoeuvres, and often, too, with their passion 
for stratagem. What made the fortune of the 
Jesuits with some of them, especially at the begin- 
ning, was nothing more nor less than the necessity 
for deceit and mystery — the feigned name, the 
half-known abode, the clandestine visits, the pi- 
quant call on the brain for fresh excuses and pre- 
texts as to where they had been, when they returned 

A woman who has felt much, and who at last 
comes to find the world one dreary blank, will gladly 
welcome a stimulus in the contrast of the most op- 
posite ideas. I remember seeing a picture at 
Venice, representing on a rich but sombre piece of 
tapestry a beautiful rose, drooping close to a human 
skull in which wreathed and sported a spotted 

This is the exception. The simple and natural 
plan, and which is usually successful, is to catch 
the wild birds by means of tame ones. I allude to 
the Jesuitesses*, insinuating, gentle, subtle, and 
fascinating, who, pouring oil and honey as they go, 
smooth the road for the Jesuits; and who ravish 
the hearts of women by becoming their sisters, 
friends, taking any shape they require, especially 
adopting the maternal one, and so touching that 
sensitive point, the mother's heart. . . . 

For friendship's sake, they will take charge of 
the daughter ; and the mother, who, otherwise, 
would never have parted with her, freely entrusts 

her to such gentle hands And she soon 

finds herself released from a restraint ; for, after 
all, the dear child was sometimes embarrassingly in 
the way; especially when the mother, feeling herself 
daily less young, might be painfully reminded of 
the fact by seeing blooming by her side the dear, 
adored, but too dazzling flower. 

All this has been done with exquisite tact and 
promptitude, and with admirable secresy and dis- 
cretion. The Jesuits are not far from having in 
the houses of their sisters the daughters of all the 
most influential families in the country ; a circum- 
stance pregnant with results Only, they 

should have learnt the art of waiting. In a few 
years, these little girls will be women, mothers. . . 
Whoever secures the women, will be sure in the 
long run to have the men. 

One generation would have sufficed. Those mo- 
thers would have given their sons. The Jesuits 
have not had patience. Their heads have been 

* The ladies of the order of the Sacre-Cosur are not only 
directed and governed by the Jesuits, but, since 1823, have 
had the same rules ; and the pecuniary interests of these 
two branches of the Society of Jesus must be in common 
up to a certain point, since, when the Jesuits returned 
after tlie Revolution of July, they received assistance from 
the funds of the order of the Sacre-Cceur. Loyola's rule, 
tliat the Jesuits were to have nothing to do with the 
direction of female orders, has been expressly revoked. 

turned with a few triumphs in the pulpit and in the 
fasliionable cii'cles ; and they have forgotten those 
prudent means of approach which were the secret 
of their success. The skilful miners who worked 
so well under ground, have taken to working in the 
face of day. The mole has quitted its subterranean 
track to aff'ront the sun. 

So difficult is it to stand aloof from the bustle of 
the day, that the vei'y men who had most to fear 
from making a noise, have themselves begun to 
raise their voices. 

Ha ! you are there . . . thanks, endless thanks 
for having awakened us ! . . . But, what do you 
want ? 

" We have your daughters, we want your sons ; 
in the name of liberty, give up your children." . . . 

Liberty ! so dearly did they love her, that in their 
zeal they wanted to begin by stifling her voice in 
the higher departments of instruction. ... A 
happy presage of what their conduct would be in 
the more elementary ! . . . Early in the year 
1842, they commissioned their young saints to dis- 
turb the courses of lectures that were being given 
in the College de France. 

We boi'e these attacks with patience ; but what 
we could not so easily resign ourselves to was the 
bold attacks made before our very eyes to coiTupt 
the schools. 

Here, they no longer observed precaution or mys- 
tery, but worked in the open day, and began tam- 
pering in the very streets. Excessive competition 
and the uneasiness attendant upon it* aff"orded them 
an easy game. . . . This or that sudden advent 
to fortune spoke with tinimpet-tongue ; miracles of 
the new Church, powerful to touch the heart. . . . 
And some, even of the firmest, began to reflect ; 
they saw how silly poverty looked, and hung their 
beads. . . . 

Once shaken, no breathing-time was allowed. 
The game was played briskly, and more openly 
every day. The gradual stages heretofore observed 
were by degrees disused. The neo-catholic proba- 
tionary stage was rapidly abridged. The Jesuits 
only asked a day for a complete conversion. Adej)ts 
were no longer x'equired to plod through the ancient 
preliminaries f; but the goal was boldly shown at 
once. . . . This seemingly imprudent haste admits, 
however, of explanation. These young folks are 
not so young as to allow of the risk of waiting. 
They have one foot on the threshold of manly life, 
and are either already their own masters or about 
to become so. There is no time to be lost ; the 
result is close at hand. Gained over to-day, to- 
morrow they will deliver up the whole community; 
as physicians can betray the seci'ets of families, 
attorneys those of fortunes, and as the bench the 
rights of justice. 

Few have succumbed. . . Our schools have held 
out ; the national good sense and honour have 
saved them. We congratulate them therefore. . . 
Young men, may you remain true to yourselves, 
and repulse corruption as you have hitherto done, 
when religious intrigue called it in as an auxiliary, 

* The depression of spirits, consequent upon such re- 
peated political disappointments, would have brought about 
a serious return to religious ideas, had not the speculators 
in religion been too eager to take advantage of this position 
of affairs. 

t As Christian art, Catholic demagogy, &c. 


and assailed you even on those benclies, with the 
seducing array of worldly temptations. 

No danger greater — he who runs blindly after 
the world and its pleasures, through youthful pas- 
sion, will come back to himself through disgust and 
lassitude: . . . but he who coolly, and in order to 
take the world by surprise, has once made his God 
a subject of speculation, who has calculated how 
much God will bring in, has died the death from 
which no one has ever returned to life. 

There was no upright man but felt saddened at 
seeing capitulations of the kind, and the hope of his 
country thus compromised. How much more 
acutely then did they feel this, who live surrounded 
by these young men, and who consider themselves 
their parents as well as teachers. 

And, among their teachers, he who cannot but 
have been the most sensitive on the point, if I may 
be allowed to make so frank a declaration, was 

Why ? Because I had thrown into my teaching 
what no man living had ever displayed in a similar 
degree. I speak not of talent or of eloquence, 
when, were either in question, the names of friends 
of mine, my fellow-professors, would start to every 
lip. I cannot allude to leai-ning, when within the 
same college is that oracle from whom the East 
comes to seek her forgotten tongues. 

I refer to one only thing, imprudent, perhaps, 
but of which I never can repent — my unlimited 
confidence in my youthful pupils, my faith in the 
unknown friends I am sure to find there. , . It is 
this imprudence, and nothing else, which has been 
the life-blood of my teaching, and which renders 
it more fertile as regards the future than that of 
others, however superior. 

Though installed in this chair, at a somewhat 
late period, and after having been long before the 
public, I, nevertheless, went on studying along 
with you all. Others taught the brilliant results at 
which they had arrived ; I taught my studies 
themselves, my method and means. I walked in 
front of all, so that they could follow me, and see 
both my goal and the humble road along which I 
had made my way. 

We pursued our inquiries in common. I made 
them my partners, frankly and unreservedly, in the 
great business of my existence; and we all followed 
it up with that eager interest which is felt in mat- 
ters personal to oneself. ... No vain glorification, 
nothing for paltry display ; 'twas too serious a 
business. We were mquiring for life, as much as 
for knowledge ; for the remedy of the soul, to use the 
expression of the middle age. And this remedy we 
sought from philosophy, and from history, from 
the voice of the heart and the voice of the world. 

The form, the occasionally poetic form in which 
these researches were cast, might arrest the weak ; 
but the strong easily detected the critical under 
the poetic — not that criticism which destroys, but 
that which produces*, that living criticism which 
asks from everything the secret of its birth, its 
creative idea, its cause and its reason of being ; the 
which being discovered, science can re-create the 
whole. . . This is the height of true science, to be 
art and creation, to be ever re-creating, to disbe- 

• I need hardly say that I allude to the tendency and the 
method of my teaching rather than to the results obtained. 

lieve in death, never to abandon what has once 
had life, but to reconstruct and replace it in that 
life which does not pass away. 

What is needed for this ? Above all, to love ; 
to throw one's heart and life into one's pursuit. 

I loved the object of my studies. I loved that 
past, which I called again to life ; and the present 
too, these companions of my studies, this throng of 
youth, who, long accustomed to hear me speak, 
comprehended, divined, and often, indeed, gave me 
new lights by the rapidity with which they would 
outstrip my train of reasoning. 

I wanted no other society, for long years, than 
this sympathetic auditory ; and, it may surprise 
many, perhaps, to hear that I sought solace there 
in those grave moments when men feel the need 
of seeking a friend. I have gone and seated my- 
self amongst them on the most mournful days of 
my life. 

Great and rare confidence ; but still, not blind 
instinct ! It was founded in reason. I had a right 
to believe that there could not be a single man of 
sense among my hearers my enemy. The friend 
of the past and of the present, I felt within myself 
the two pi'inciples, by no means opposites, which 
divide the world, and I made each lend the other 
life. Born of the Revolution, of liberty, which is 
my faith, I have, nevertheless, yearned tenderly 
over the middle age. The most filial sentiments 
which were, perhaps, ever uttered of our aged 
mother Church, have fallen from my lips. . . Com- 
pare them with the unfeeling tone of her showy 
defenders, . . Whence did I draw these living 
waters? Fi'om those springs common to all, 
where the middle age drank, and where the 
modern age slakes its thirst — from the springs of 
free thought. 

To give in a few words my notion of the con- 
nexion between the two principles: — "History 
(I laid down this definition in 1830, and I abide 
by it) is the progressive victory of liberty. This 
progression must be eff'ected, not by obstruction, 
but by interpretation. Interpretation supposes 
the tradition which is interpreted, and the liberty 
which intei'prets. . . . Let others choose between 
the two ; for my own part, I must have both ; I 
want each. . . . How can they be otherwise than 
dear to me ? Tradition is my mother ; liberty is 

No teaching has been more vivified than my 
own, by the freedom of Christian thought which 
constituted the life of the middle age. Wholly 
busied with causes, and seeking these in the soul 
only (the soul, divine and human), it was spii-itual- 
ised in the highest degree, the teaching of the 

Hence the wings which bore it up and enabled 
it to surmount many a rock, against vvhich others 
had been wrecked. 

To instance one subject only — Gothic art. 
The fii'St who paid attention to it, and who was 
not Christian, and who could see nothing Christian 
in it, the great worshipper of nature {naturaliste), 
Goethe, admired in those endless repetitions of 
the same forms, a lifeless imitation of nature, "a 
colossal crystallisation." 

One of our own countrymen, a mighty poet, 
imbued with a less noble perception, but more 
instinct with life, felt these stones to be living, 
only he betook himself to the grotesque and 

fanciful ; that is to say, in God's house, the first 
thing he saw was the devil *. 

Both lool^ed at the external rather than the in- 
ternal, at the effect rather than the cause. 

I started from the cause, mastered it, and, en- 
dowing it with life, marked the result. 1 did not 
look at the church as a subject of contemplation, 
but as a work to be wrought ; 1 did not take it as 

it stood built before me, but I rebuilt it Of 

what ? Of the very element of which it was first 
built — of man's blood and heart, of the free move- 
ments of the soul which piled up those stones; and, 
beneath those masses whose authority bears most 
imperiously upon us, I pointed out a something 
more ancient and more living still, which created 
authority herself, I mean liberty. 

This word, liberty, is the great and the true 
right of the middle age ; and, be it remembered, 
that to discover and to prove this right of hers, 
was making her peace with modern times. 

I have introduced the same course of research, 
have brought the same absorbing appreciation of 
moral causes, of the free genius of the human 
mind {du llbre genie Immain) into the study of 
literature, of law, of all the forms of active life. 
The deeper I dug by study, by erudition, by chro- 
nicles and charters, the moi-e I recognized in the 
depth of things, as their first organic principle- 
feeling and idea, the heart of man, my heart. 

So invmcible has this spiritualizing tendency 
been in me, that I have remained faithful to it in 
the history of those material epochs which ma- 
terialized a considerable number of our contem- 
poraries. I allude to the troubled and sensual 
epochs which terminate the middle age, and form 
the commencement of modern times. 

In the fourteenth century, what is it that I have 
analyzed, developed, and brought into full relief, 
at the expense of all the rest ? The grand religious 
question, that of the Temple. 

In the fifteenth, in Cliarles Vlth's time, the 
gi-and moral question : — " How, from ignorance 
to error, from false ideas to bad passions, from 
drunkenness to phrenzy, man loses his nature as 
man f ." .... Then, having shown how France 
was lost by a madman, I show how she was 
saved by the heroic and holy madness of the Maid 
of Orleans J. 

The appreciation of moral life, which alone can 
reveal causes, enabled me in my publications and 
my lectures, to throw a steady light upon the 
times of the Revival (Renaissance). The vertigo 
of those times did not turn my head ; their phan- 
tasmagoria did not dazzle me; the fitful but bril- 
liant fairy could not change me as she did so many 
others, and all in vain did she dance befoi'e my 

eyes her many-coloured iris Others saw 

there costumes, blazons, banners, cui-ious weapons. 

* (See p. 275, ch. 9, book iv., on " the Passion, as the 
Principle of Art in tlie Middleajje," in Miclielet's History of 
France, published in Whittaker's Popular Library.) — Trans- 

t Michelet's History of France, vol. ii. p. 3, in Whittaker's 
Popular Library. 

I When treating of Charles VI., I am considered a 
materialist; when treating of the Pucelle, they consider me 
a spiritualist. Poor critics, who judge by the nature of the 
subject, not by the method of treatment, which is the same 
in both cases. 

armorial bearings, cofi'ers, vases. ... 1 saw only 
the soul. 

I thus equally steered clear of our picturesque 
historians, with their vain exhibition of waxen 
figures, which they cannot put in motion ; and 
of those restless drama-mongers who, seizing a 
limb here and a limb there, confound and gal- 
vanize the whole to the gi'eat alarm of the spec- 
tators All this is external : 'tis death, or 

pretended life. 

What is true historic life ? and how can the 
sincere man, who compares the world and his 
heart, find it, and re-create it ? Tliis was the 
high and difficult question which I laid down for 
examination in my later courses of lectures*; and 
the successive efforts of those to come after me 
will gradually throw more light upon it. 

The fruit of my toil, the reward of a laborious 
life, would be to have established the true nature 
of the problem, and so, perhaps, to have prepared 
the way for its solution. Every one must see the 
immensity of the speculative and the gravity of the 
practical results that would follow, both in politics 
and education. 

Never have I been impi*essed with a more pro- 
found religious sentiment of my mission, than 
during my teaching these two last years ; never 
have I more thoroughly compi-ehended the priest- 
hood, the pontificate of history. I bore the whole 
past as reverentially as I would have borne the 
ashes of my father or of my son. 

'Twas in the midst of this religious labour that 
insult came to single me out. . . . + 

The first attack took place a year since (April 
7th, 1842), after an impoi'tant lecture, in wliich I 
maintained, in opposition to the sophists, the moral 
unity of mankind. 

Word was given to assail me, and interrupt my 
lectures. But the indignation of the public alarmed 
these valiant men. Hardly organized as yet, they 
thought it better to wait for the irresistible eff'ect 
sure to be produced by the libel which the Jesuit 
D. wrote from the notes of his brothers, and to 
which M. Desgarets, canon of Lyons, put his name, 
although disavowing the authorship. 

I am not fond of disputation. For a whole year 
I fell back upon the darling subject of my thoughts, 
upon my solitary toil, upon my dream of the 
olden time. . . . My adversaries, who did not 
sleep, took heart, and believed they could steal 
behind the dreamer and stab him with impunity. 

It happened, however, that the natural order 
of my lectures led me to them. Occupied pre- 
viously in explaining and analyzing life, I had to 
show its opposite, counterfeit life ; with the living 
organism I had to contrast sterile machinism. 

And though I might have explained life without 
exhibiting death, I considered it my duty, as pro- 
fessor of moral philosophy, not to avoid the ques- 
tion which rose in my path. 

Our preachers of the day have handled every- 
thing ; no question, social, political, historical, lite- 
rary, medical, has come amiss. One has treated 
of anatomy, another of Waterloo. Then, as their 

* And to which I intend to devote a specific work. 

t No interruption had been aitempted to the lectures of 
any other professor. The disturbances at the Sorbonne did 
not take place till a month or two afterwards. 


courage grew, they have begun to preach, as in 
the days of the League, against this or that indivi- 
dual. And the novelty has been relished. 

Who cares for individuals ? . . . And, as re- 
gards social questions, no doubt it has been taken 
for granted, that in this lethargic time there was no 
great danger from their being discussed in the 

Of a certainty, I am not the man to contradict 
this, and I accept the transfer. The Church busies 
herself with the world, and teaches us our business. 
We 1, we will teach her God ! 

May God deign to shed his light on iinowlcdge. 
How has her "ample page " done so long without ? 
. . . Return to us, O Lord, unworthy as we ai-c. 
. . . Ah! how joyfully should we hail thy presence. 

Art thou not our lawful inheritance ? As long 
as knowledge was estranged from thee, could she 
be termed knowledge ? . . . This has been a 
happy means of her drawing nigh unto thee, and, 
at the same time, of re-discovering her perfect 
accord with the good sense of the people, from 
whom she ought never to have wandered. 

June 26th, 1843. 



In this first lecture, I laid down an important 
fact, — namely, that since 1834, whilst there has 
been an immense increase in material productive- 
ness, intellectual productiveness has seriously dimi- 

This fact, which has almost escaped notice 
amongst ourselves, is well known to our foreign 
imitators, who complain that we give them hardly 
anything to imitate. 

From 1824 to 1834, they were liberally supplied 
by France. In this period, she produced those 
literary monuments of her's which are her glory 
in the eyes of Europe ; not isolated monuments 
merely, but grand connected works, whole cycles 
of histories, dramas, romances, &c. 

In the ten following years, the press has been 
equally active, or more so ; but the works pub- 
lished have been unimportant. And even works of 
some extent have made their first appearance in a 
fragmentary form, cut up into articles and feuUle- 
tonsX; ingenious and brilliant, indeed, but still 
fragmentary, and presenting little continuity of 
thought, and few of the characteristics of a grand 

The greater number of the works published 
within this period have been reprints, manusci'ipts, 
and other historical documents, and cheap illustra- 
ted works — a sort of daguerrotypes which reflect in 
pale images all that is put befoi-e them. 

The singular rapidity with which all these things 
are issued, one succeeding the other so as to leave 
hardly a trace, does not allow us to remark, that of 

• Delivered April 27th, 1843. These lectures are sub- 
stantially the notes from which I lectured ; and I give 
them as they were jotted down, or nearly so, day by day. 
I was obliged to write them in this hurried manner, accord- 
ing to the change of circumstances and the different aspect 
the question assumed through the interference of the public 
press, or otherwise, up to the last day of the course. 

I may reasonably expect some indulgence for an argu- 
ment carried on through the pelting of the storm, and 
which, notwithstanding the modifications rendered hourly 
necessary by the alternations of the dispute, proceeded 
straight to the end laid down from the first. 

t (A word introduced by M. Miehelet, and a very ex- 
pressive one.) 

t (Ihe feuilleton is that part of a French newspaper de- 
voted to tales, essays, or novels, which are published piece- 
meal from day to day, or week to week.)— Translator. 

these thousand passing objects the form is but little 

An attentive observer, curious in comparing his 
recollections, would find that these pretended novel- 
ties come round periodically ; and he would have 
little trouble in referring them to a small number 
of types and formulas which are employed, turn by 
turn. To these formulas cur rapid improvisatorl 
are, in their hurry, obliged to have recourse ; they 
form, as it were, a large instrument on which our 
writers play with a light touch. 

The mechanical genius which has enlarged and 
simplified modern life in material respects, cannot 
be applied to mental things otherwise than injuri- 
ously. I see, in all pursuits, intellectual machines 
which relieve us from the necessity of study and 
meditation* ; dictionaries which enable us to skim 
every science, apart from its congeners, and from 
the corresponding sciences which serve to throw 
light upon it ; encyclopedias, in which ev«ry science, 
labelled in small packets, is so much barren dust; 
summaries, which give you the result of that 
which you have not learnt, trick you into fancying 
yourself master of the subject, and bar the door 
against knowledge. 

Antiquated methods, these, and far inferior to 
the notion of Raymond Lully. At the close of the 
middle age, he found the schoolmen exhausting 
themselves in drawing consequences from es- 
tablished theorems. " If," he said, " the theorem 
be fully made out, if philosophy, religion, science, 
be grounded on a firm basis, all that we want is to 
systematize : from principles to consequences the 
deductions will follow of themselves. My system 
shall resemble a tree ; you shall trace from the 
roots to the branches, from the branches to the 
leaves, proceeding from the general to the species, 
to the individual, and thence, inversely, you shall 
trace back to the deep roots of general principles." 
• . . He wrought out his plan ; and with this con- 
venient tree of his, there was no longer any need of 
exploring ; all became easy. , . . Only, the tree 
was a withered tree, and never bore fruit or flowers. 
Another, and a bolder attempt at Machinlsm, was 
essayed in the sixteenth century. The world was 

* The objection is to works of this kind in general, and 
not to specific works of similar form, in which the writers 
have displayed profound and original genius. 


in arms for religion. A brave man, Ignatius Loy- 
ola, looked upon religion itself as a warlike ma- 
chine, and on morality as capable of mechanical 
regulation. His celebrated Exercises constitute a 
manual of religious tactics, by which the monastic 
militia are drilled into certain movements. He 
sets down material means of pi'oducing those im- 
pulses of the heart, which had ever been left to un- 
fettered inspiration. In such an hour you pray, 
then meditate, then weep, &c. 

Admii'able mechanism, in which man is reduced 
to a piece of clockwork that can be wound up at 
will ! Only, ask nothing from him more than a 
machine can produce. The I'everse of animated 
organism, a machine imparts action, but yields no 
living production ; whereas the first not only im- 
parts action, but produces animated and organic 
nature, resembling itself. The mechanism of the 
Jesuits has been active and powerful, but has pro- 
duced no living thing : it has failed to elicit that 
which, in all communities, is the highest proof of 
life; it can show no great man. ... In three hun- 
dred years, not one man ! 

What is the Jesuit's nature ? He has none. He 
is equally ready for all things. He is a machine, 
a mere instrument to be put in motion, without any 
individual will. 

The machine has its law — fatality; just as liberty 
is the law of the soul. How then can the Jesuits 
speak of liberty ? What have they to do with her ? 

Observe the equivocating language they now hold. 
In the morning, they are for liberty ; in the even- 
ing, for authority. 

In their newspapers, which they distribute among 
the people, they speak only of liberty, and seek to 
persuade them that political liberty can exist with 
religious tyranny. . . . This is hard to believe, and 
difficult to make those believe who, in order to ex- 
pel them, but yesterday expelled a dynasty* {cheers 
and disapprobation) — and who, if needs be, will 
expel ten dynasties. 

Many alter their tone in the higher circles, and 
to the noble ladies whose spiritual directors they 
are. Here, they become all at once the lovers of 
the past, the true children of the middle-age. 

I, too, I can boldly tell them, am in some sort 
of the middle-age, for in it I have lived long 
years, and I distinctly recognise the four words of 
Christian art which our friends have just taught 
you. . . but, allow me to look you in the face ; if 
you be truly the children of that day, you will 
resemble it. 

That day was fecund ; and, albeit in its humility, 
it believed itself to be inactive and powerless, still 
it created. Numberless are the poems, legends, 
churches, systems which it has produced, as in a 
dream. . . How does it happen that, if you belong 
to it, you produce nothing \ 

The middle-age, which you are ever ready to 
show to us, as if fixed in idiot immobility, was, for 
fifteen hundred years, one continuous series of 
action and of fecund transformation. (I retrench 
a long digression into which I entered here.) The 
free vegetation peculiar to it, has nothing in com- 
mon with the dry, hard action of machines f . 

* (Alluding to the three days, 1830.) 

t The living symbolism of the middle age, which was 
constantly changing, under an apparently immoveable form, 
resembled in this respect all living things ; for instance, 

Had it had no other action, it would have produced 
no living thing, it would have been barren — and 
as such, you would indeed resemble it. 

No ; you belong not to the past ! No ; you 
belong not to the present ! 

Do you exist ? No ; you give no sign of exist- 
ence. . . You are a pure accident, a simple phe- 
nomenon, not a living formation. That which 
really exists, produces. 

If you come, you who are not, who produce 
nothing, who will produce nothing, to exhort us to 
be like unto you, to renounce our living energies, 
to confide ourselves to you, to nothingness; we 
answer, " The world must not die yet ; that death 
will come, we know : but this is no I'eason why 
we should want all to die with us." 

If you insist, if you will be accounted something, 
I will grant that you ai'e an old engine of war*, 
a fireship of Philip the Second's, part of the in- 
vincihle Armada. . . . Whoso embarks in it will 
perish ; Philip II. and Charles X., and all who 
shall follow their example. 

Offspring of war, you remain faithful to the law 
of your birth. Your works are disputes, scholastic 
and polemic arguments, that is, negations. . . We 
work, you fight ; which of these two means is the 
Christian one ? 

Soldiers ('tis your name), sheathe your swords. 
" Blessed are the peacemakers." 

Do as we did before you began to trouble us — 
work in peace. Then only will you learn to 
understand Christianity and the middle-age, of 
which you have so little idea. 

To whom do I address this advice, which is not 
that of an enemy ? To the Society (of Jesus) ? 
No. Its boast is that it never changes, never 
improves + ! . . . I speak to those unfortunate 
members of the Society, whom I can now picture 
to myself as conscious, too late perhaps, of having 
plunged into the path from which there is no 
returning, and secretly mourning their espousal of 

(The latter part of this lecture was reprinted, 
without my privity, in the Patrie of the same 

plants, which change so gradually as to tempt one to think 
there has been no change. It is impossible for any thing 
to be more opposed to the artificial, planned, premeditated 
system, which makes enthusiasm a matter of forecast, and 
reduces faith to a mechanical process. 

• Three years after the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
Gregory XIII., who had returned thanks to God for that 
happy event, granted the Je.suits all the privileges which 
the pope had or ever would grant (conccssis ef concedeiidis) 
to any of the clergy, secular or regular. HeTice, their pre- 
tensions to represent the whole church, in conformity with 
their ambitious title— The Society of Jesus. They are, in 
point of fact, a dangerous counterfeit of the church. They 
boldly plunder all previous rules, and copy St. Benedict, St. 
Dominic, and St. Francis. Look at the originals, and you 
will find the borrowed te.xts bear quite a different sense, 
political and religious, from that into which they are 
strained, and have nothing in common with the police of 
the Jesuits . . . producing quite as ridiculous an effect as 
if in the preamble of a law, passed for the regulation of our 
civil police, it should be set forth that the law was grounded 
on such or such axioms of the Divina Commedia. 

t The well-known saying of the general of the order, — 
" S'lnt ut sunt, aut non siiit." (Let them be as they are, or 
not be at all.) 


evening, and, ou the following day, April 28tli, in 
the Slecle. I did not foresee the active part which 
the press would take in this struggle. 

I did not know either, and, strange as it may 
seem, it is not less true, that my friend, M. Quuiet, 

having brought down his lectures to the middle of 
the sixteenth century, was about to treat of the 
literature of the Jesuits. . . . What may seem 
more surprising still is the fact, that / had not read 
a single line of all that liad been mriUen against me.) 



He is standing on the defensive, is what one says 
of me : He is assuming the offensive, says another. 
I am doing neither. . . I am teaching. 

The professor of history and of moral philosophy 
has a right to inquire into the gravest question 
belonging to the domain of philosophy and of 
histoi-y ; namely, what are organism and mechanism, 
and iu what living organism differs from barren 
mechanism ? 

A grave question, and especially so at this 
moment when life seems waxing weaker, when we 
are becoming more and more barren, when Eu- 
rope, heretofore fully occupied with imitating 
France, with counterfeiting or translating France, 
marvels at seeing our diminishing productiveness. 

I have instanced a signal example of mechanism, 
powerful for action, powerless for production — the 
order of the Jesuits, which, during three centui'ies 
of existence, lias been unable to produce one single 
man, one single work of genius 

The Jesuits, quite as much as the Templars, are 
amenable to the verdict of history. It is both my 
right and my duty to make you acquainted with 
the spirit of these great associations. I began with 
the Templars, and am now come to the Jesuits. 

Two days ago, they stated iu their paper, that I 
was attacking the denjy. It is exactly the reverse. 
Exposing the tyrants of the clergy, that is, the Je- 
suits, is rendering the clergy the greatest possible 
service, and paving the way for their deliverance. 
We are in no danger of confounding the victims 
with the tyrants. Let not the latter hope that 
they can shelter themselves behind that great body 
which they are compromising by urging it into 
violence when it only seeks peace. 

As I have observed, the Jesuits are a formidable 
engine of war, devised in the heat of the struggle 
of the sixteenth century, and used as a desperate 
resource, full of danger to those who employ it. . . 
There is one spot where this is thoroughly known 
— Rome ; and hence the cardinals have always 
said, and will ever say, in the conclave, when a 
Jesuit is proposed for pope, "Dignus, sed Jcsuita §." 
They know that the order, at bottom, worships 
itself. . . . And so did the Templars. 

Christianity has only been able to amend the 

• Delivered May 4th, 1S43. 

+ M. Michelet's term is " Revenants," literally, "Ghosts, 

X " Even as a dead body." 

§ " A fit person, but a Jesuit." This was said of cardinal 

world, by mixing with the world ; and fi'om that 
moment, it has had to submit to the world's sad 
necessities, and, saddest of all, to war. Chris- 
tianity, which is peace, has, at various periods, 
turned warrior ; that is, at these periods, it has be- 
come anti-Christian. 

The engines of war which have thus, by a strange 
miracle, been the work of the religion of peace, 
being in flagrant contradiction with their principle, 
have, from the first, exhibited a singularly I'epul- 
sive and lying aspect. And how much more repul- 
sive and lying must they appear, as the progress 
of time removes us further from the circumstances 
which occasioned, and the exigences which might 
have accounted for their invention ! Becoming 
more and more at variance with existing manners 
and institutions, their origin forgotten, and their 
repulsiveness only the more apparent, they inspii'ed 
an instinctive repugnance, and society shrank from 
them it knew not why. 

A similar repugnance is inspired by every phan- 
tom which returns from the troubled and violent 
world of past ages, to visit this modern world of 
ours. The eldest born of the ooze, who erst had 
this globe, covered with water and with mist, alone 
to themselves, and who now knead with their equi- 
vocal limbs the tepid slime of the Nile, seem sent 
forth as a claim from chaos, longing once more to 
engulph us.* 

God, who is beauty, has not created absolute 
ugliness. Ugliness is an inharmonious passage, an 
imperfect state of transition. f 

There is one ugliness of one kind, another of 
another ; the one seeks to be less ugly, to harmo- 
nize, adjust itself, follow a progressive course, fol- 
low God. . . . The other seeks to be more ugly, and, 
in proportion as the world acquires the symmetry 
of order, pants for ancient chaos. 

And so, in history and iu art, we sympathize with 
those foul and repulsive forms which pant to be 
changed : " Expecto, Domine, donee veniat immuta- 

* The serpent of the antique age presents himself full of 
beauty, shining, scaled, and winged : " See my beautiful 
scales and wings ; mount my back ; let us fly together unto 
the light !" " What ! undertake to fly with that reptile's 
belly ! You, bat as you are, take me to the sun ! . . . . 

Avaunt, chimerical monsters ! avaunt, living liars ! 

Sacred light, come to my aid against the phantoms of chaos 
and the reign of ancient night !" 

t The text is : — " Dieu, qui est la beaute, n'a pas cree 
de laideur absolue. La laideur est un passage inharmo- 



tatio mea *." Look in our cathedrals, at those un- 
happy, bowed down figures which, bent under the 
Aveight of some enormous pillar, strive, neverthe- 
less, to lift the head, the outward sign of the aspi- 
rations of the unhappy people of that day ; and 
whom you find to have been in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, foul and grotesquely distorted in feature, but 
intelligent and thoughtful ■}■: athwart their re- 
pulsive visage gleams the harmony of modern 

The odious, incurable foulness, that which shocks 
the eyes, and still more the heart, is that which 
convicts the will of stagnation, and of not allowing 
any amelioration at the hands of the great Artist 
who is ever amending his own work. 

Thus, when Christianity becomes conqueror, the 
Pagan gods prefer flight. They plunge into the 
recesses of the woods, live wildly there, and become 
more and more uncouth, and old wives cabal for 
them on Macbeth's " blasted heath." This obsti- 
nate tendency towards the past, this attempt to go 
backward, when God leads forward, is regarded 
by the middle age as the ill of ills, and is called the 

Precisely the same horror is felt of the Albi(jeols, 
when the latter, who styled themselves Christians, 
revived the Persian and Manichean duality. It 
seemed as if Ahriman had returned, in the very 
face of Christianity, and taken his seat by God. 

Less gross, but not less impious, seems to have 
been the mystery of the Temple. 

A strange religion this of soldier-monks, who, 
out of their contempt for priests, seem to have 
blended the superstitions of the ancient Gnostics 
and Mussulmans, desiring no more of God than the 
Holy Ghost, whom they enclose in the peneti'alia 
of the Temple, and keep to themselves. " The or- 
der itself, it would seem, became their God. They 
worshipped the Temple, and the Templars, their 
chiefs, as living temples ; and they symbolized by 
the filthiest and most disgusting ceremonies their 
blind devotion and complete abandonment of will. 
The order closing itself in on this wise sunk into 
a fierce worship of itself, into a Satanic egotism. 
The most eminently diabolical feature of the devil, 
is his worshipping himseli'J." 

Thus, this engine of war, which the Church had 
invented for the service of the Crusades, was so 
well handled by her, that when she thought she 
was thorough mistress of it, she found its point 
at her own breast ! Still, her danger was the less, 
inasmuch as this bastard creation of the monk- 
soldier had little vitality out of the Ci'usades, that 
is, independently of the cause which called it into 

The contest waged in the sixteenth century, 
called a much more dangerous soldiery into exist- 
ence. At the crisis when Rome was attacked in 
Rome itself, by the writings of Luther and the 
arms of Frundsberg, there comes from Spain a 
valiant soldier who vows himself to her sei'vice, an 
enthusiastic and a politic-minded man. The sword, 
thus held out to her in her hour of danger, she 

• " I wait, O Lord, my expected change." 

+ See the statue of Jean Bureau's daughter, at Versailles, 
(For some account of Jean Bureau, see Michelet's His- 
tory of France, vol. ii. p. 165, in Whittaker's " Popular 

t Michelet's History of France, vol. J. p. 316, in Whittaker's 
" Popular Library." 

clutches so eagerly and so confidently, that she 
casts away the sheath. She invests the general of 
the Jesuits with full power, precluding herself from 
ever allowing them, even at their own instance, 
privileges contrary to their original foundation. 
{NuHius inomentihabenda siint,etiamsi a ^ede Apos- 
tolicd shit concessa *.) The pope is to introduce no 
change. The general, in conjunction with the 
assembly of the order, will change whatever lie 
sees proper, according to fitness of place and time. 

What constituted the strength and legitimate 
influence, the order, as soon as instituted, was that 
it maintained, in opposition to the Protestants who 
exaggerated the divine control, the freedom of 
man's will. 

And what use does he proceed to make of this 
freedom ? He submits it to the Jesuits ; he- em- 
ploys it to obey ; and whatever he is commanded, 
he mil believe to be just f . In the hands of his su- 
periors, he will be like a staff in the hands of an 
old man, who does what he likes with it, and will 
suffer himself to be pushed this way or that as un- 
resisthhjly as a corj^se .- — Perhide ac cad.ater. 

To prop up this doctrine of obedience and of 
tyranny, the spy-system is authorized by the founder 
of the order himself. 

His successors draw up the great moral scholas- 
tic or casuistry, which provides for all things a 
distinguo, a nisi. ... J The chief power of their 
society was derived from this art of juggling with 
morality, which constituted the all-powerful attrac- 
tion of their confessional. Their preaching was 
severe ; their spiritual direction indulgent. Strange 
bargains were struck between the alarmed con- 
sciences of the great of this world, and the all- 
politic direction of the society. 

The most efficacious means of conversion, which 
the Jesuits have the honour of devising and of 
putting in practice, was kidnapping the children, in 
order to force the parents to turn convertites. New 
and most ingenious means, which had escaped the 
researches of Nero and of Diocletian ! 

One fact will serve. About 1650, a lady of Iiigh 
rank in Piedmont, a worldly liver and the prey of 
her passions, found her end approaching. Her 
confessors were Jesuits, and yet they gave her but 
little comfort. At this awful moment, she bethought 
herself of her husband, from whom she had been 
long estranged, and sent for him. " I have been a 
great sinner," she said, " and, perchance, towards 
you. I have much to expiate, and believe my soul 
to be in danger. Aid me, and swear that you will 
employ all means, even fire and sword, to convert 
the Vaudois." The husband, a brave soldier, 
swore to fulfil her wishes, and spared no military 
I'ecourse to accomplish them; but without success. 
The Jesuits, more crafty, bethought themselves 
of seizing upon the children, feeling sure that the 
mothers would follow. . . .§ 

The same means, and by the same hands, was 

* " Such privileges to be of no weight, albeit granted by 
the holy see." 

t . . " Obedientia, turn in executione, tum in voluntate, 
turn in intellectu, sit in nobis semper ex omni parte perfecta 
. . . omnia jusia esse nobis persttadendo." Constit. p. 123, in 
12mo, Roma?, in Collegio Societatis, 1583. 

J " I take a distinction " — " 1 observe an exception." 

§ The edict of Turin, passed in 1655, proves the horrible, 
fact by the very amelioration it introduces : — " Prohibition 
against seizing boys under twelve years of age, girls under ten." 



had large recourse to on the revocation of the edict 
of Nantes. Louis XIV. felt repugnant to it ; but 
Madame de Maintenon, who had " no little ones," 
persuaded him that no happier or more efhcacious 
expedient could be devised. . . . The cries of the 
mothers have mounted to the skies ! 

It is nothing surprising, therefore, that we, too, 
should feel a repugnance to entrusting our children 
! into the hands of those who first counselled this 
abduction of children. The mechanical education 
imparted by the Jesuits, may cultivate the in- 
tellect, perhaps, but it crushes the soul. One may 
know much, and none the less be without a living 
soul: — Perinde ac cadaver. 

There is one thing, besides, which ought to inspire 
distrust. Who can say what the Jesuits now are, 
and what they are doing ? . . . Their existence is 
more mysterious than ever. 

We are justified in saying to them. It is no fair 
match between you and us. We publish our every 
thought, and live in the open day. Who is there 
to hinder you from saying Yes in the morning, and 
in the evening No 1 

All know what we are doing, and see us at work, 
whether for good or ill. Hei'e we come day by 
day, bearing with us our whole life, our very heart, 
for our enemies to feed upon. 

And for long years (simple as we stand here, 
and hard-working) have we nourished them with 
our substance. We may say to them, as the 
wounded man to the vulture in the Greek poem, 
" Eat, bird, 'tis the flesh of a brave man ; thy beak 
will grow a cubit longer." 

See yourselves, now ; what is it on which you 
live, wretchedly poor as you are ? 

The very tongue in your mouth, with which your 
advocates attack J. J. Rousseau, is, to the best of 
their ability, Rousseau's tongue. ... It is rhe- 
toric and reasoning, but with little power of observ- 
ing facts. 

Who, twenty years back, revived Christian spiri- 
tuality — you \ Dare you say it was you ? 

Who excited in the public mind a fervour for the 
middle-age — you ? Dare you say it was you ? 

We have lauded the past, have lauded St. Louis, 
St. Thomas, even Ignatius Loyola. . . . And you 
have stepped forward and said, I am Loyola. No; 
you are not Loyola. A man of genius could not 
use the same means at the present day which he 
employed centuries back. . . . 

This very church in which you preach has stood 
for ages, and you saw it not. We have been obliged 
to show it to you, to help you to discover the towers 
of Notre-Dame ; and then you have slipped into it 
whether Notre-Dame liked or not, have turned it 
into an arsenal, and mounted your batteries on the 
towers of this house of peace. . . . 

Well ! let this same house judge betwixt you and 

us, which of the two are the true successoi'S of the 
men who built it ? 

You say that all is complete ; you Avant no addi- 
tion. You think the towers high enough — and so 
they are, to erect your engines upon. 

We, on the contrary, say that we must be ever 
building, adding work to work, and these, living 
works ; that as God is ever creating, we ought to 
imitate him as we best may, and to create likewise. 

You would have all stop, and we have kept going 
on. Despite you, we, in the seventeenth century, 
discovered heaven (as Ave did the earth in the fif- 
teenth), and you have been indignant therefore ; 
yet have you been compelled to acknowledge the 
immense addition to religion. — Was Christianity it- 
self realized antecedently to the law of nations 
which introduced peace even into Avar, and antece- 
dently to civil equality? — Who has opened up these 
grand highways ? these modern times Avhich you 
accuse ? And civil equality, Avhich you begin to 
knoAv by name so as to employ it against us, is 
another addition to the grand edifice we are rear- 
ing, Avhich Ave claim as ours. . . . We are masons, 
Avorkmen. Suffer us to go on building, to go on 
prosecuting from age to age the Avork common to 
all, and, without ever growing Aveary, to go on rais- 
ing higher and higher the everlasting Church of 

[This lecture was interrupted by various marks 
of insolent disapprobation, Avhich Avere so offensive 
to the rest of the auditory, that the offending indi- 
viduals Avere hooted as soon as they got into the 

The following Wednesday, M. Quinet lectured, 
and established on undeniable grounds the rights 
and freedom of the professorial chair. The papers 
declared one after the other for us (the National 
•and ConstUutionnel, on May 5th ; the Debats, on the 
13th ; the Revue des Deux Mondes, on the 15th ; the 
Courrier, on the 17th ; the Revue Independante, on 
tlie 25th). The SiecU reported both M. Quinet's 
lectures and mine. 

A neAV review {Joxirnal de la LibeHe ReUgicitse, 
edited by M. Goubault), the first number of which 
appeared on May 15th, gave extracts from them ; 
and large extracts Avere also published in various 
provincial and also foreign papers, as the Journal 
de Rouen, Echo de Vesone, Courrier de Lyon, Espe- 
rance, Helvetic, Courrier Suisse, S[c. 

On Thursday, May 11th, it being my turn to lec- 
ture, many of my colleagues and of the most illus- 
trious of my friends, foreignei-s as well as French, 
Avere pleased to protest, as it Avere, by their pre- 
sence, against these unAvorthy attacks, and to honour 
me by surrounding my chair.] 

• (Many of the allusions and turns of thought in this 
lecture will only be understood by those who are acquainted 
with M. Michelet's History of France, and with his peculiar 
views and phraseology as an historian. — Translator.) 






Far advanced in life as I am, and devoted to 
solitary and laborious studies, I experience, on 
glancing back at the past, a most sweet and sooth- 
ing compensation for all that I may have missed. 

And this is, that it has been granted to me, as 
much as to any man of this age, to envisage in his- 
tory a mystery which is truly divine. 

I speak not of the spectacle of those great dra- 
matic crises which seem God's strokes of state- 
policy {les coups d'etat de Dieu). ... I speak of 
the gentle, patient, often almost imperceptible 
action, by which Providence prepares, awakens, 
and develops life, tends, nurses, and gradually 
strengthens it. {Clamour, interruption.) 

I call upon my illustrious friends, historians, 
either of humanity or of nature, whom I see pi-e- 
sent, to declare whether they liave not considered 
the contemplation of what may be called the mater- 
nity of Providence, the highest recompense of their 
toils, their best consolation in the vicissitudes of life? 

God is a mother. . . . This is plain to all who 
can see the tender care with which He brings the 
vastest powei's within reach of the feeblest beings. 
. . . For whom or what this stupendous fabric, 
this concourse of elements, these waters exhaled 
from distant seas, this light which travels thirty 
millions of leagues ? What is this favourite of God's 
whom nature hastes to serve, and for whom she 
moderates her energies and holds her breath ? . . . 
'Tis a simple blade of grass ! 

Looking at these cautious, delicate cares, this 
ear of hurting, this desire of preserving, this tender 
consideration for all existence, who can mistake the 
mother's hand ? 

The great mother, the great nui'se, is like all 
mothers — she fears to force. She surrounds, but 
does not press ; she influences, but does not com- 
pel ; she is ever giving, but gradually and little at 
a time ... so that the nursling, whatever it be, 
may not long remain passive, may aid itself, and 
may finally act according to its kind. 

The constant miracle of the world is, that infinite 
strength, far from crushing weakness, wishes 
weakness to grow into strength. Omnipotence 
seems to make divine felicity exist in creating, 
encouraging life, action, liberty. (Clamour, violent 
altercation, long interruption.) 

The sole aim of education should be to imitate 
this conduct of Pi'ovidence in the culture of man. 
Its object should be the development of a free 
creature, so that it may, in its turn, act and create. 

In the disintei'ested and tender education which 
they give their child, parents want nothing for 
themselves, but all for him ; they want his faculties 
and the fulness of his powers to grow and ripen 
harmoniously, so that he may gradually become 
strong, be a man, and fill their place. 

Above all, tliey want their child to develop all 
the activity of liis nature, though they be the 
• Delivered May 11th, 1843. 

sufferers. . . If the father fence with him, he yields 
him the advantage in order to embolden him ; 
retreats, suffers himself to be hit, never thinks 
that he hits hard enough. . . 

The sole thought of parents, the end of their 
cares for so many years, is that their child may at 
last be able to do without them. Even the mother 
resigns herself to this, sees him depart, launches 
him into dangerous careers, into the navy, the 
army ! In wliat view ? That he may return a 
man, embrowned with the sun of Africa, dis- 
tinguished and admired ; that then he may marry, 
and love another more than his mother. 

Such is the disinterestedness of family nature : 
all that is asked for is to produce a free and strong 
man, able, when the occasion calls, to detach 
himself and be his own support. 

The artificial families, or fraternities of the 
middle age, were imbued, in their origin, with 
a portion of this divine character of the natural 
family, of harmonious development into freedom. 
The large monastic families, at tlieir outset, had a 
shadow of it ; and it was then that they produced 
the great nien who are their representatives in the 
sight of history. They were only fecund, so long 
as they allowed some latitude to free development. 

The Jesuits alone, instituted for specific violent 
action, political and warlike, have undertaken to 
absorb the whole man in this action. Tliey want 
to appropriate him to themselves without reserva- 
tion, and to employ and to keep him from his 
cradle to the grave. They take possession of him 
by education ; before the reason, awakened, can 
stand in its defence, they obtain the mastery over 
him by preaching ; and they guide him, even in 
his most trivial doings, by becoming his spiritucd 

What is this education of theirs ? Their apolo- 
gist, the Jesuit Cerutti, explains it in a manner 
that there is no mistaking : " Just as one swaddles 
the baby's limbs in the cradle, to insure their just 
proportion, it is necessary, from earliest youth, to 
swaddle, if I may so speak, the will, to insure it all 
throughout life a happy and salutary suppleness." 
(Apologie, p. 330.) 

If one could for a moment admit that a swaddled 
faculty could ever become a free agent, the admis- 
sion must be retracted when we bring side by side 
with this simpering word the franker expression 
which they have not feared to inscribe in their 
rule, and which indicates both the precise kind of 
obedience they require and what man must become 
in their hands — " Like a stick, like a corpse." 

But they may urge — " If the will only be 
annihilated, may there not be a compensation in 
what the other faculties will proportionally gain ?" 

Prove that they have gained. Pi'ove that a 
man's mind and intellect can live, and his will be 
dead. . . Where are the great men you have pro- 
duced these last three hundred years ? . . . 



And though one side of a man might be the 
gainei" by the weakening of the other side, who gives 
you a right to practise operations of the kind ? 
Who, for instance, authorizes you to pluck out the 
left eye under pretence of strengthening the 
right ? 

I know that the English breeders have found 
out the art of making strange specialties— sheep 
whicli are nothing but tallow, oxen which are 
nothing but meat, elegant skeletons of horses to 
win prizes with ; and, to ride these horses, dwarfs: 
wretched beings, who are forbidden to grow ! 

Is it not impious to apply to the soul this 
shocking art of making monsters, and to say to it : 
" Thou shalt sacrifice this faculty, retain that ; 
we will leave thee memory, discrimination in unim- 
portant matters, habits of business and of craft ; 
but we will deprive thee of that which constitutes 
thy essence, which is thyself, of will, of liberty ! . . . 
so that, thus lopped, thou mayest still live on as an 
instrument, but no longer belong to thyself." . , . 

To make these monstrosities, a monstrous art is 

The art of keeping men together, and yet isolated, 
united for action, disunited in heart, contributing 
to one same end, whilst making war on each other. 

To bring about this state of isolation in con- 
junction with a state of society, the first step must 
be to leave the inferior members in perfect 
ignorance of what is to be revealed to them when 
they reach the superior ranks, (Reg. coram, xxvii.) 
so that they may proceed blindly from one stage 
to the other as if climbing by night *. 

This is the first point to be secured. The second 
must be, to create a mutual distrust of one 
another by the fear of mutual betrayals, by the 
spy-system. (Reg. comm. xx.) 

The third, the complement of this artificial sys- 
tem, is to arrange a set of educational works which 
shall show them the world in a false point of view, 
so that, deprived of all means of self-conti-ol and 
instruction, they may be for ever imprisoned, walled 
in, as it were, in falsehood. 

I will instance only one of these works — their 
Abridgment of the History of France (edit, of 
1843 1) ; a work, millions of copies of which have, 
during the last five-aud-twenty yeai's, been cir- 
culated in France, in Belgium, in Savoy, Piedmont, 
and Switzerland ; a work so thoroughly their own, 
that they introduce changes in it year by year J, 

* To justify their prohibiting their servants from learning 
to read, they boldly quote St. Francis of Assisi {Rrg. com- 
ment. Nigrotius, p. 303), who, owing to his implicit belief 
in divine illumination, dispenses his followers from study- 
ing I seem to see Machiavel turning to his own 

political purposes, the saying wliich he heard fall from a 
child's lips ! It is the same with many other points, the 
letter of which the Jesuits have borrowed from the older 
rules, to use in quite an opposite sense from their original 
meaning; and which remain as so many witnesses to the 
difference of their spirit from that of the middle age. 

t Histolre de France, for the use of youth, t. ii. p. 342, 
in 12mo: a new edition, revised and corrected, 1843, and 
published at Lyons, by Louis Lesne, late Rusand. This 
book, and all others by the same hand, is marked in the 
catalogues with the sign, A. M. G. D. (Ad majorem gloriam 
Dei, To the greater glory of God); or with the letters 
L. N. N. (Lucet, non nocet. Shining, but hurting not.) 

t And from month to month. In an edition published 
in June, they suppressed a passage which I quoted in my 
Lectures from au edition published in the January or 

expunging the follies which had made the name of 
its author notorious, but leaving all his calumnies 
and blasphemies against France ... in every page 
the English spirit and the glories of Wellington *. 
Why, the very English have shown themselves 
less English, and have refuted with contempt the 
calumnies invented or renewed by the Jesuits of 
our slain at Waterloo ; and, above all, that para- 
graph in which, speaking of the refusal of the 
imperial guard to sun-ender, the Jesuit historian 
adds, — " These madmen %cere seen firing vpo7i and 
slaying each other in face of the English, who stood 
transfixed with horror at the sight." 

Wretched man how little do you know of the 
heroic generation that you are thus recklessly 
calumniating ! They who have been honoured 
with the intimacy of those heroes, will say whether 
their calm coui'age could ever be sullied by impotent 
rage. . . . More than one have I known, as gentle 
as an infant. ... Ah! the powerful were mild, 
indeed f . 

If you have a grain of prudence, never speak of 
those men or of those times ; pass the whole over 
in silence. . . . You will be at once detected for 
what you are — for the enemies of France. . . . 
She hex'self will say to you, " Touch not my dead ; 
beware, they are not as dead as you suppose! " 

[The hand that directed the disturbance through- 
out this lecture, was easily recognized ; and the 

February preceding, and which lies before me as I write 
this note, June 24th. 

* It is worth while to look at the absurd speeches they 
put in his mouth, full of insult to us (ii. 3lS), and the silly but 
sanguinary effusions they attribute to Napoleon (ii. 324), — the 
drivelling of idiot hate. On the 20th of March (1802— 1814 ?) 
they make the people mingle with the cries of " Long live 
the Emperor !" shouts of " Long live Hell !" " Down with 
Paradise!" (p. 337.) AVhat can one think of their filling 
two whole pages of this small work with a dissertation on 
perukes (ii. ICS, 169)? The whole work, in fact, is of the 
same character ; every where the same worldly and bigot 
spirit, and the gravest things alluded to with a lamentable 
levity, which shows the death of the heart within. Here 
is the manner in which the author mentions the massacre 
of St. Bartholomew: — "The marriage was celebrated; and 
the joy of the festival would have been perfect but for the 
bloody catastrophe which brought it to a close " (i. 294). But 
exceeding all is the following impudent eulogium passed 
by the Jesuits on the Jesuits : " By a distinction, honour- 
able to this order, all the enemies of religion were considered 
to be its enemies " (ii. 103) ! 

t How many proofs could I not cite ! Here is one which 
deserves to be saved from oblivion. At the battle of \Va- 
gram, one of the batteries of the imperial guard took up its 
station for a moment on a spot covered with the wounded 
of the enemy. One of these, who was suffering agony 
from his wound, as well as from thirst and the heat, called 
out to the French to put an end to him. Maddened at not 
being understood, (he was an Hungarian,) he dragged him- 
self to a loaded musket, and endeavoured to fire it at the 
cannoneers. The French officer in command took the 
musket from him, and hung some coats on a stack of mus- 
kets to screen him from the heat. This officer was M. 
Fourcy-Gauduin, an artillery captain of the guard, the 
excellent historian of the Polytechnic-school, and the writer 
of many charming poems, composed during the tremendous 
wars of the empire, and on every battle-field of Europe. 
He lies in our Cimeticre du Midi, with this simple epitaph 
on his tomb, Hinc Surrecturus (About to rise hence), and 
beneath, Sli/lo et Gladio Meruit (Distinguished both by his 
pen and his sword) The two first words, so noble and so 
christian, are those which he had himself inscribed on the 
tomb of his mother — Jiinc Surrectura ! 



means employed wei'e altogether conformable with 
the description I had been drawing of the method 
pursued by the Jesuits, consisting in drowning the 
voice of the lecturer, not by hisses, but by braros ! 
. . . This manoeuvre was executed by some dozen 
individuals who had never attended the course, and 
who had been beaten up as recruits that same 
morning, in a large public establishment. 

So un-French a manoeuvre disgusted the students; 
and the more so that the disturbers of the lecture, 
in their inexperience, broke out at random, and, as 
it happened, at the most religious passages. They 
were in danger from the indignation of the students, 
especially one of their number, whom I had the 
l)leasure of seeing a friend of mine protect by the 
interposition of his own person. 

On the evening of May the 16th, a deputation of 
the students waited upon me with aiettei-, couched 
in the most becoming terms, in which they ex- 
pressed both their sympathy with the professor, 
and their indignation at the unworthy attacks to 
which he had been exposed. Two hundred and 
fifty-eight signatures were appended to this letter 
in a moment. 

The papers, as I have already said, had declared 
for us ; and, on the 15th, I addressed the following 
letter to the editor of the Journal des Dtbats : 

" Sir, — In an obliging article, in which you un- 
dertake to establish the justice of our cause, you 
state that we are employing the right of self-defence, 
an expression which might lead some to infer that 
we have postponed the subject-matter of our teach- 
ing, and the syllabus of our lectures, (made out long 
beforehand,) in order to meet the attacks on our 

" No, Sir, we are not defending ourselves. The 
garbled, disfigured extracts quoted by our op- 
ponents, are their own defence the moment they 
are read in conjunction with the context. As to 
the commentaries with which they are garnished, 
who would dare to read them in pubiic ? The im- 
purity of the monastic imagination displayed in 
some would have made Aretine recoil ! (See the 
Monopole Unirersitaire, p. 441.) 

" In the very first lecture delivered by me this 
year, I stated my subject ; it was the loftiest 
question in the philosophy of history — 

" The distinction betwixt living organism and 
mechanism, or formalism and vain scholastics. 

" I. In the first part of my course, I pi'oved 
that this sterile spirit was not, as has been supposed, 
the dominant principle of the middle age ; and I 
inquired into the mystery of its fecund vitality. 

" II. lu the second part of my course, I pro- 
ceeded to show what judgment should be passed on 
the false middle age which has been imposed upon 
us. I have characterized it, externally, by its im- 
potence and the sterility of its results ; and am now 
penetrating into the heart of its mystery, the per- 
fidiousness of its principle — which is, to take pos- 
session of man by surprise ; to muffle him up before 
he is of age to defend himself ; to sicaddle the will, to 
borrow the phrase from the Apology for the Jesuits. 

" Such was, such is, sir, the plan of my course. 
Polemics only enter it to the support of theories; and 
I have cited the order of the Jesuits as a case in point, 
just as I had occasion to do that of the Templars. 

" I am no brawler. The greater part of my 
life has been spent in silence. I was advanced in 
yeai's when I began to publish ; and ever since, 
I have studiously avoided controversy. For twelve 
years I have been absorbed in an immense under- 
taking, which will occupy the whole of my life. 
Yesterday, I was writing the History of France ; 
and I shall be writing it to-morrow, and every day 
as long as God will allow. All I ask of Him is to 
preserve me, as he has heretofoi'e done, in a state 
of equanimity, and master of my own heart and 
judgment, so that the mountain of lies and calum- 
nies which has long been amassing to overwhelm 
me with at one blow, may not disturb a hair's 
breadth the impartial balance which he placed in 
my hand. I am. Sir, &c." 

"Monday, May \btli, 1843." 

On the 18th, our opponents perceived, by the 
attitude of the silent crowd which filled all the 
avenues of the College de France, that any further 
attempt on the patience of the public would be dan- 
gerous. The Lecture went off without the slightest 
inteiiiiption. A person suspected, perhaps wrong- 
fully, of an attempt at interruption, was handed 
over the benches from one to anothei*, and in a mo- 
ment expelled the room. 

From that day the peace has been unbroken.] 



The liberty of the press has preserved liberty of 

The instant a free thought, a free voice is raised, 
there is no stifling it; it pierces through walls and 
barred doors. How hinder six hundred persons 
from hearing what will be read to-morrow by six 
hundred thousand ? 

Liberty is man. Even to subject oneself, one 
must be free ; to give oneself away, one must be 
one's own. He who could renounce his birthright 
by anticipation would no longer be man, but thing 
— Uod would own it not ! 

• Delivered May 18th, 1843. 

Liberty is so essentiallly the fundamental of the 
modern world, that her enemies have no other 
weapon to combat her but herself. How was 
Europe enabled to make head against the Revolu- 
tion ? By giving, or by promising, liberty — com- 
munal libei-ties, civil liberties (as in Prussia, Hun- 
gary, Gallicia, &c.). 

The violent adversaries of the liberty of thought 
have derived all their power from this very liberty. 
Curious, to see M. de Maistre, in tlie briskness of 
his attack, momentarily escaping from the yoke 
which he seeks to impose — here, more mystical than 
the mystics condemned by the Church ; thei'e, 



quite as revolutionary as the Revolution which he 

Marvellous virtue of liberty ! The freest of ages, 
our own, is also the most harmonious. It has de- 
veloped itself, no longer by servile scliools, but by 
cycles or great families of independent men, who, 
without holding one of the other, yet go on even- 
tually joining hands ; in Germany the cycle of 
philosophers, of great composers; in France, the 
cycle of historians and of poets, &c.* 

Thus it has happened that precisely at the mo- 
ment association ceased to be, and that religious 
orders and schools had passed away, there began, 
for the first time, that grand concert, in which each 
nation within itself, and all nations between them- 
selves, without any previous understanding, have 
chimed in in accordant harmony. 

The middle age, less free, could not originate 
this noble harmony; but enjoyed, at least, the hope 
of it, as it were, its prophetic shadow, in those great 
associations whicli, albeit dependent, were never- 
theless so many liberties in comparison with 
preceding ages. St. Dominick and St. Francis, 
drawing the monk out of his seclusion, sent him to 
all parts of the world as preacher and as pilgrim. 
This newly-born liberty diffused life by torrents. St. 
Dominick, notwithstanding his fatal share in the 
Inquisition, gave birth in crowds to profound theo- 
logians, orators, painters, bold thinkers, until he 
burned himself with his own hands, no more to come 
to life, on the same stake with Bruno. 

And so the middle age was not an artificial and 
mechanical system, but a living being, which en- 
joyed liberty, and through liberty, fecundity ; which 
truly lived, for it worked and produced. And now 
that it rests, it has earned its rest like any other 
good workman. We, who woi'k to-day, shall 
readily go and lie down by it to-morrow. 

But first, both it and we shall be summoned 
to answer for our deeds. Ages, like men, are 
accountable. We moderns shall appear with 
the men of the middle age, bearing our works in 
our hands, and presenting our great workmen. 
We shall point to Leibnitz and Kant ; it, to St. 
Thomas : we, to Ampere or Lavoisier ; it, to Roger 
Bacon : it, to the composer of the Dies Irce, of the 
Stahat Mater ; we, to Beethoven and Mozart. 

Yes, this antique age hath wherewithal to answer. 
St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Dominic, will present 
themselves bearing great works, which, scholastic as 
they may appear, were nevertheless works of life. 

Whom or what have the Jesuits to produce ? 

It is wholly irrelative, when we point to these 
two imposing galaxies of the geniuses of the middle 
and of the modern ages, to produce men of learning, 
of cultivated mind, agreeable Latin versifiers, a 
good preacher — Bourdaloue, an ingenious philoso- 
pher — Bufifier-l-: all they can show is little as regards 

* The same development is observable in science since 
the commencement of the century. You find the chemists 
of France and mechanicians of England, during the great 
struggle between the two countries, labouring face to face, 
and, nevertheless, labouring in perfect harmony, all draw- 
ing from the bosom of nature those marvellous powers, 
which, though sought after under the inspiration of war, yet 
still remain in everlasting and peaceful perpetuity to man- 

t See the list in the Jesuit Cerutti's Apology (p. 292. 
310): — Historians, Bougeant, T>uha]de, Strada, Charlevoix, 
Maimbourg, &c. Men of deep learning, Petau, Sirmond, 

literature, and nothing, or worse than nothing' 
as regards art. See their influence upon that 
meretricious school of painting, which, like some 
antiquated and affected coquette, has been on the 
wane ever since Mignard's day*. 

No ; those are no works for you to show ; but 
you have others. 

And, first, your historiesf , often learaed, always 
to be read with suspicion, always biassed by party 
interest. Your Daniels and Marianas could not 
have spoken the truth, had they wished it. Your 
writers lack one thing, that which you labour the 
hardest to destroy, that which a great man has 
pronounced to be the quaUty essential to the his- 
torian : " A lion's heart, to speak the truth always!" 

In reality, you have but one work you can claim 
as your own — a code. 

I mean the rules and constitutions by which you 
are governed ; add the dangerous chicanery in 
whicli you train your confessors for the govern- 
ment of souls. 

In going over that great work, The Constitutions 
of the Jesuits, one stands aghast at the immensity 
of the details, at the infinitely minute foresight 
which it exhibits. It is rather a great, than a 
grand J construction, and fatigues the eye, because 
It no where offers the simplicity of life ; because 
we observe, with alarm, that the living powers 
figure there as stones. One would fancy one saw 
a huge church, not like that of the middle age in 
its simple vegetation ; no — a church whose walls 
present only the heads and faces of men who look 
and listen, but no body nor limb ; the limbs and 
bodies being for ever blocked up, alas ! in the im- 
moveable stone. 

The whole edifice reared on the one principle — 
mutual superintendence, mutual denunciation, a 
perfect contempt for human nature — (perhaps, a 
natural contempt at the fearful epoch when the 
order was instituted). 

Bollandus, Gaubil, Parennin, &c. Men of letters, Bouhours, 
Rapin, La Rue, Jouvency, Vani^re, Sanadon, &c. Many 
scientific and able men they have to show, but not one man 
of genius. Their best argument would be, that having 
started into being in time of warfare, and having generally 
led a life of action, they have acted rather tlian created, and 
that we should examine what they did, rather than what 
they may have left behind. In answer, we inquire whether 
their action upon life has been really productive ; and the 
result, even as regards their missions, is a decided negative. 
See a Lecture of M. Quinet's, further on. 

• Poussin loved neither the Jesuits nor their painting. 
He drily answered their objection, that he represented 
Jesus Christ under too austere a figure, "That our Lord 
was not a sleek parson (un pere douillet)." 

t The entire order is an historian, an indefatigable bio- 
grapher, a laborious keeper of records (archivisle) ; for it 
relates, day by day, to its general, all that takes place in 
the world. 

X All that is borrowed in this work from the middle age 
is invested with a modern character, frequently the opposite 
of the ancient spirit. Its prevailing genius is that of the 
scribe; an endless mania for regulating, a superintending 
curiosity, which never stops, and which strains to see and 
to sound a bottom beyond the bottom. Hence the strange 
refinements of their casuistry, and the melancholy hardi- 
hood which leads them to stir up and decompose tilth, at 
the risk of sinking deeper into it. To sum up, the work 
displays a petty, subtle, captious spirit, a spurious mixture 
of bureaucracy and scholasticism, a spirit of police rather 
than of policy. 



The superior is begirt by his councillors ; the 
membei's, the novices, and the pupils, by their 
brethren or comrades, ready to denounce them. 
And shameful are the precautions taken even 
against the most dignified and longest tried mem- 
bers *. 

Gloomy society, how much I pity thee ! . . . 
But must not man, so ill at ease within its bosom, 
be so much the more active when partially released 
from its trammels, and filled with a dangerous rest- 
lessness ? The only means of slightly lessening the 
pressure of this fearful spirit of police is for the 
sufferer himself to carry it into every thing. 

Is not the introducing a police of the sort into 
education an impiety ? What ! you lay your hand 
on this poor soul, which has but a day's existence 
between two eternities, but one day to become 
worthy of everlasting beatitude, in order to con- 
vert the child into the betrayer, that is to say, to 
make him resemble the devil, who, we learn in the 
book of Genesis, was the first betrayer the world 
saw ! 

All the services which the Jesuits have had it 
in their power to render f, cannot efface this one 

* There is a police and a counter-police. The penitent is 
even set as a spy on her confessor, and, at times, deputed to 
try him with insidious questions ! A woman made to act 
the spy, by turns, on two men jealous the one of the other; 
a hell beneath hell ! Where is the Dante who could have 
imagined this ? The reality is much vaster and more terrible 
than all fancy or imagination ! . . . . Espial of this sort is 
not specified in the rule, but it is observed in practice. 

t And indisputably they have rendered services, as re- 
gards the transition stage of study between the education of 
the schoolmen and that of modern times. Neverthelese, 
their plan of instruction is spoiled, even in what is most 
judicious in it, by a petty spirit, and by a needlessly minute 
subdivision of times and studies. All this is pitifully frag- 
mentary—a quarter of an hour for four lines of Cicero; 
another quarter of an hour for Virgil, &c. And, together 
with this, we must reprobate their mania for arranging 
authors, and blending their own style with theirs, for dress- 
ing up the ancients as Jesuits, &c. 

foul blot. Even their method of teaching, and of 
education, in many respects judicious, is, never- 
theless, impressed with a mechanical and automa- 
ton-like character. It has none of tlie spirit of 
life. It regulates the exterior, and the interior 
may follow as it can. Among other points of re- 
gulation, the pupils are instructed to carry their 
heads properly, always to cast down their eyes a little 
lower than those of the person whom they address, and 
to take care to keep the nose from curling, a7id the fore- 
head from wrinkling*, the too visible signs of dupli- 
city and cunning. These hapless players do not 
know that serenity, the air of candour, and moral 
gi'ace and dignity, proceed from within, and mount 
from the heart to the face j that they are inimi- 

Such, gentlemen, are the enemies with whom we 
have to do. Religious liberty, on which they 
sought to Lay hands, is guarantee for all the rest — 
for political liberty, for that of the press, for that 
of speech, which I beg to thank you for having 
maintained. Guard well this grand inheritance. 
You are the more bound to keep it untouched and 
unscathed, inasmuch, young men, as you have re- 
ceived it from your fathers, and not won it for your- 
selves. It is the prize of their efforts, the fruit of 
their blood. Desert it ! As well might you shatter 
their very tombs ! 

Ever bear in mind the saying of a venerable 
man of a former day, of the man with the white 
beard, as he calls himself, of the Chancellor L'Ho- 
pital : " Lose one's liberty ! Gracious God, what 
is there left one to lose after that ?" 

* JnstUutum Soc. Jes. ii. 114, ed. Prag. in folio. Not a 
single change has been introduced into the educational 
system of the Jesuits. All the details described in the 
work entitled, L'Interieur de Saint-Acheul, par un de ses 
eleves, have been confirmed to me by youths brought up at 
Brugelete, Brieg, and Fribourg. 



The base and violent attacks made upon me since our 
last meeting, compel me to say a word of myself. 

One word ; the first, and it will be the last. 

Gentlemen, our acquaintance is now of long date. 
Most of you have been brought up, if not by me 
personally, at least by my books, and by pupils 
of mine. All present know the line I have fol- 

That line has been at once liberal and religious. 
It begins with the year 1827. In that year, I pub- 
lished two works ; one was the translation of a 
book which makes Providence the foundation on 
which to build the philosophy of history ; the other 
was an Abridgment of Modern History, in which 
• Delivered May 2Cth, 1843. 

I denounced, more strongly than I have ever since 
done, fanaticism and intolerance*. 

From that date I was known both by my books 
and by my lessons at the Normal School ; lessons 
carried by pupils of my own forming into every 
corner of France. Not one word has been uttered 
or taught by me since, at variance with the prin- 
ciples on which 1 started. 

Mine has not been a favoured career. One by 
one 1 have advanced from stage to stage, without 
having been spared a single gradation. Examina- 

* See, in particular, my observations on the massacre 
of St. Bartholomew, Precis de I'Histoire Moderne, p. 141 
(ed. 1827). 



tioii, eioclioii, seiiiorit}' have formed the ladder by 
whicli I have risen. 

1 have had my humble origin cast in my teeth 
— wli}', 'tis my glory ! {Applause.) 

I have been accused of place-hunting * ; will they 
tell nic when ? He, who for so many yeai'S, and with- 
out respite, has been daily occupied with the double 
labours of professor and of writer, has had but little 
time to spare for prosecuting any personal views or 

For years upon years have I led the life of those 
Benedictines of our age, of Sismoudi and of Dau- 
nou. The latter resided in a distant subui'b, inha- 
bited by market-gardeners. Of a morning, as soon 
as they saw the lamp in his window, they would 
I rise to their daily work. " It is four o'clock," they 

would say. 

I When a man begins an immense work, like the 

history of our native country, a work immeasurably 

disproportionate to the brief span of human life, he 

condemns himself to the life of a recluse ; a life, 

I not unattended with danger; for at length one grows 

I so absorbed in it as to be dead to all that is going 

I on abroad, and to awaken only when the enemy is 

forcing the door or when he has burst into the 

I house. 

But yesterday, I confess, I was wholly wrapped 
I up in my work, shut in with Louis XL and Charles 
the Rash, and busily trying to make them agree ; 
when aroused by hearing at my windows that gi-eat 
flight of bats, I put out my head to see what was 
going on. 

What did I see ? Nothingness taking possession 
of the world ; and the world making no effort, the 
world floating about as if on the raft of the Medusa, 
and, choosing no longer to row, breaking up, de- 
stroying the raft, and making signals ... to the 
future ? ... to a saving soul ? . . . No ! ... to 
the abyss, the void. . . . 

The abyss gently murmurs, — Come to me, what 
fear you ? See you not that / am nothing. 

'Tis precisely because thou art nothing, that I fear 
thee. 'Tis thy nothingness which I fear. I have 
no fear of that which is ; what truly is, is of God. 

The middle age has said in its last work, the 
Imitation — " God speaks, and the doctors are si- 
lent." We cannot affirm this — for our doctors 
have not a word to say. 

Do theology, philosophy, those two mistresses of 
the world from whom the Spirit ought to descend, 
do they still speak ? 

Philosophy is dwindled down to history, to eru- 
dition ; she translates, or she reprints, but teaches 
no more. 

Theology teaches no more. She criticizes, rails, 
lives on the names of individuals, on the writings 
•and reputation of Mr. So and So, whom she attacks. 
But what is Mr. So and So to us ? Speak to us of 

It is high time, if we wish to live, for each, leav- 
ing these doctors to dispute as they list, to seek life 
in himself, to appeal to the voice within, to the per- 
severing labours of solitude, to the succour of free 

* 1 applied for nothing under the Restoration, as I have 
been accused of doinp; ; but I was myself applied to. At 
what moment? In 1828, during the M-artignac ministry, 
and through the mediation of an illustrious friend of mine 
on whom that minister bestowed a professorship, with the 
applause and approbation of the whole kingdom. 

At the present day we no longer know what soli- 
tude and association mean ; still less do we know 
how solitary labour and free inter-communication 
can reciprocally aid and quicken each other. 

Yet, here also is salvation ! In my mind's eye 
I see a whole people drooping and suffering, without 
association, and without real solitude, however iso- 
lated such people may be. Here, I see a whole 
people of students, apart from their families (this 
mountain of schools* is after all filled with exiles), 
there, a whole people of priests scattered over the 
country, an unfortunate swarm, hampered on the 
one hand by the ill-will of the world, on the other 
by the tyranny of their superiors, without a voice 
to complain withal, and who, for half a century, 
have diired only to sigh ■\. 

All these men, now isolated, or forcibly associ- 
ated so that they curse association, were grouped, 
in the middle age, in free confraternities, in colleges, 
where liberty had her share even under the domi- 
nion of authority ; for many of these colleges were 
self-governed, and nominated their own heads and 
masters. And not only was their administration 
free, but, in certain points, their studies. For in- 
stance, in the great school of Navarre, in conjunc- 
tion with the course of reading obligatory on all, 
the students enjoyed the right of choosing some book 
which they could study, elucidate, and master 
among themselves. This liberty was fecund in re- 
sults. The school of Navarre sent forth a crowd 
of eminent men, orators, critics — Clemengis and 
Launoy, Gerson and Bossuet, among the number J. 

The liberties enjoyed by the schools of the mid- 
dle age disappeared in succeeding times. 

In these schools (too hastily condemned) little, 

• (An allusion to the Pays Latin, as it is called, the 
quarter of Paris in which the College de France and other 
public seminaries are situated.)— Translator. 

+ See the work entitled De I'Etat acltiel du Clerye, et en 
particulier des Cures Ruraux appeles Desservanis, par MM. 
AUignol, Pretres Desservants, 1839. 

t See the fecundity of free development in those pleasing 
associations of the great painters, from the thirteenth to the 
sixteenth century ! 

Whilst the master allows his pupils to work upon his 
paintings, his vigorous impulse, nevertheless, goes on 
throughout all this variety of handling. And they who 
seem to immolate themselves to him, to be absorbed in him, 
to be lost in his glory, gain the more, the more they forget 
themselves. Free and light, above interest and selfish 
pride, grace grows under their pencil, without their know- 
ing how or whence. . . . See that youth : he was yesterday 
grinding colours ; he is now himself the head and founder 
of a school. 

The truly divine feature of free association is this : that 
whilst it proposes as its object such or such a given work, 
it develops that which is above any work — the power which 
can produce all works— union, brotherhood. In that picture 
of Rubens's where you trace the hand of Vandyke, there is 
a something greater than the picture, greater than art— 
their previous friendship ! 

The more thoroughly the virtue of free association shall 
be understood, the more delight we shall take in witnessing 
new powers bursting into life, the more gladly shall we 
reach out our hand to the new-comer. Every man of a 
genius and a pursuit different from our own, brings with 
him an element that we ought to welcome. He comes to 
render us more perfect. Before him, the great lyre which 
we form amongst ourselves, was not yet harmonic ; each 
string acquires its value from its neighbour strings. If an 
additional one be discovered let us rejoice ; the lyre will be 
the more harmonious. 



indeed, was taught, but the faculties were largely 
exercised. With the sixteenth century, the aim is 
changed, and knowledge is the imperative want. All 
at once antiquity is rediscovered, and adds all her 
stores to the science and learning already extant. 
By what mechanism can this mass of words and 
things be stored up in the memory ? 

The inharmonious mass had produced only 
doubt ; all was uncertain, both ideas and manners. 
To extricate the human mind from this state of 
fluctuation the strong machine of the Society of 
Jesus was invented ; once submitted to which and 
firmly riveted down, there would be no possibility 
of wavering for a moment. 

What was the result ? This barbarous idea of 
holding life palpitating in an iron vice, missed 
securing its object. When they fancied it had 
firm hold, it held nothing. They found that they 
had only grasped death. 

And death spread. A spirit of distrust and 
inactivity took possession of the Church. Talent 
inspired suspicion. The deserving were those who 
held their peace ; they resigned themselves to 
silence, until it became easy to simulate death. 
And when the imitation is so easy, the fact is that 
death has taken place. 

In our own time, the leading champions of the 
clergy do not belong to their body (as the Bonalds, 
the De Maistres). One priest has put himself 
forward, only one *. . . Is he still a priest ? 

Profound sterility, which only too clearly ex- 
plains the silence that now prevails. . . 

" What !" it may, perhaps, be objected, " is it 
not sufficient to repeat and reiterate an everlasting 
doctrine ?" 

Why, precisely because it is eternal, because it 
is divine, Christ, in his mighty awakenings, has 
never been without a new robe, without the 
raiment of youth. . . From age to age has his 
vesture been renewed — by St. Bernard, and by 
St. Francis, and by Gerson, and by Bossuet ! . . . 

Extenuate not your impotence. If your churches 
are crowded, attempt not to make us believe that 
it is to hear your sifting of old controversies. 
Before we have done with you, we will analyze 
the different motives that have brought you your 
hearers ; but, to-day, one question only — " Do 
these crowds go to church in the view of quitting 
the world, or of getting more quickly on in it ?" In 
these days of competition more than one has imi- 
tated the hurried man of business who, to escape 
the jostling throng, takes advantage of some open 
church, and, making a short cut through it, steals 
a march on the simple ones, who are still elbowing 
their way as they can. 

Keeping the clergy sterile, forcing upon them 
the dry, withering education of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, imposing upon them the study of works 
which only witness to the hideous state of the 
morals of that age, is doing what their most deadly 
enemies would shrink from doing. 

What ! to enervate, to paralyze this great living 
body ! to hold it inert, immovable ! to bar it 
everything, except slander ! 

• The illustrious M. de la Mennais. 

Why slander, why criticism, if you will, is still 
only criticism ; that is, a negation. To become 
more and more negative, is to lose more and more 
of life. 

We, whom they regard as their enemies, want 
them to act, to live. And their superiors, or, to 
speak plainly, their masters, will not suffer them 
to give a sign of life. Which, I pray you, of the 
two mothers in the judgment of Solomon, which 
is the true, the loving mother ? She who would 
haxe her child live. 

Poor Church ! They must be thy adversaries, 
then, who beseech thee to recognize thyself, to 
share with them the task of interpretation, to call 
to mind thy liberties and the grand prophetic 
voices that have issued from thy bosom ? 

Forgettest thou, then, Church, the everlasting 
words which one of thy prophets, Joachim de 
Flores, listened to with respect by popes and 
emperors, dictated in the year 1200, at the foot of 
Etna ? His disciple tells us : " He dictated three 
days and nights, without sleeping, eating, or drink- 
ing ; I wrote . . . And he was pale as the leaves 
of the forest : 

" ' There have been three ages, three kinds of 
persons amongst believers ; the first called to the 
task of fulfilling the Law, the second to the work 
of the Passion, the third elected unto the liberty of 
Contemplation. This is what the Scriptures testify, 
where it is written. There where the Spirit of the 
Lord is, there is liberty. — The first age was an age 
of slaves, the second of free men, the thii-d of 
friends ; the first an age of aged men, the second 
of men, the third of children ; in the first nettles, 
in the second roses, in the third lilies. — The mys- 
tery of the kingdom of God appeared at first as if in 
deepest, night ; then it came to dawn like the 
morning ; one. day it will shine in highest noon. . . 
For, with each age of the world knowledge grows 
and becomes manifold. It is written, Many will 
pass away, and knowledge shall go on increasing.' " 

Thus, from the depth of the thirteenth century, 
the prophet saw the light of the modern world, 
progress, liberty ; which the churchmen of this 
day cannot recognize. You can descry Mont Blanc 
at thirty leagues' distance, and yet cannot see 
it when you live within its shadow. 

It is liberty, that liberty announced by the 
prophets, which now beseeches the Church, in 
their name, not to die, not to allow herself to be 
strangled by this heavy cope of lead, but rather 
to raise up and free herself by clasping the young 
and powerful hand liberty holds forth to her aid. 

These pi'ophets, and we, their children (under a 
different form, but that matters not), have felt God 
alike, as the living and free Spirit which desii-es the 
world freely to imitate him. 

Throw down, then, your useless arms ; abjure 
the mad war you are driven to wage contrary to 
your inclinations. Would you have us stay here 
like idle workmen, spending the whole day at the 
corners of the streets, doing nothing but quarrel ? 

Why not, rather, come, you and the rest, to work 
with us whilst there are yet left a few hours of the 
day, so that, by joining works and hearts, we may 
all grow more and more — to use the expression of 
the middle age — brothers in the free spirit. 





Whatever the pressure of worldly affairs, or in- 
toxication of the passions, there is no man who 
does not find at some moment of his life — the time 
to muse on a higher life. 

There is no man but has asked himself, when 
sitting alone at his fireside after the fatigue of the 
day, or refreshed by the night's rest, in the calm 
morning hour, whether he was always to remain in 
this world of pettinesses, whether he was never to 
take wing ! 

At such serious moments, seldom to return, what 
manner of man is it we meet ? 

We meet two men, two languages, two minds. 

One tells you to live a life eternal, no more to 
disperse your powers, but to concentrate them 
within yourself ; to embrace your destiny, your 
particular study or art, with an heroic will; to 
receive nothing, whether knowledge or belief, as a 
dead lesson, but as a living thing — as a life starting 
into life, which you are bound to quicken, nurse, 
vivify ; creating, according to the measure of your 
strength, in imitation of Him who is ever creating. 
This is the grand road ; and, though that of fecun- 
dating movement, does not take you out of the path 
of sanctity. Have we not seen the eldest born of 
God, to whom he granted to follow him in his path 
of creation, — the Newtons, Yirgils, and Comeilles, 
— walking in simpleness, remaining pure, and dying 
children ? 

So speaks the spirit of life. What says the 
spirit of death ? That if we live, we should live 
little, from less to less; and, above all, ci-eate 

" Beware," it exclaims, " from developing your 
inward strength ; question not yourself ; believe not 
the voice within ; search out of yourself, never in 
yourself. What good is it to wear yourself out in 
the prosecution of your life, your study ? Behold all 
studies ready to your hand, short and easy ; you 
have but to learn. A fool is he who seeks to soar. 
'Tis safer to creep, and you reach the goal quicker. 

" Let alone your Bible and your Dante. Take up 
the Fleur des Saints (the " Flower of the Saints "), 
the Petit Traite des Petites Vertus (the " Little Tract 
on the Little Virtues'"). Pass this amulet round 
your neck, perform the " Hundred Mortifications " 
{Ce7it Mortifications) ; and then, over and above, 
this little hymn to a fashionable tune. Choose a 
good seat in church, where you may be conspicuous 
and recognized as a pious person ; you will be 
taken by the hand, introduced to a rich wife ; your 
fortune, in short, will be made. 

" But all this is on one condition — you must be 
reasonable ; that is, you must extinguish your 
reason. You are not yet completely corrected ; 
you still presume occasionally to think for yourself. 
This is naught. Look at yonder automaton ; there 
is a model. You would say it was a man, and it 
speaks and writes ; but never anything of itself — 
always what it has learnt ; if it stirs, it is because a 
spring has been touched. 

• Delivered June 1st, 1843. 

" Did men only know how superior machinery 
is to life, they would no longer live, and all would 
go on the better. How advantageous would it not 
be for you to replace this feverish circulation of the 
blood, this variable play of muscles and of fibres, 
by those beautiful machines of steel and brass, the 
regular play of whose wheels and pistons it is so 
delightful to look upon." 

Many are doing their utmost to approach this 
beau-ideal. Could they attain it, and the meta- 
morphosis be complete, it is plain what life would 

And what would become of science, of literature ? 

In the first place, there would be some sciences 
that would be branded as suspected ; and others, 
considered less to be suspected, would be retained 
as secret instruments. The mathematical and 
physical sciences would find grace as the means of 
machinery and of thaumaturgy ; grace for a time. 
For after all, they are sciences, and would even- 
tually be denounced. Astronomy, condemned long 
.since with Galileo, would be defenceless. The 
Anti-Copernicus, sold after sermon at the doors of 
the church, would kill Copernicus. The four rules, 
perhaps, might be retained ! And what more ? 

A little Latin must be kept for divine service ; 
but no Latin literature, except in editions arranged 
by the Jesuits. Modern literature and philosophy 
are heresies, to be banished utterly and altogether ; 
and how much the more that East which is now 
presenting itself to Christianity as a brother, and 
under Christian forms. Haste to bury deep such 
a science, and let its name never be breathed more. 

No more science ; a little art may be spared, — 
a devout art. Which, and of what epoch ? . . . 
That of the middle age is too severe ; Raphael is 
too pagan ; Poussin is a philosopher ; Champagne 
is a Jansenist. Ha ! there is Mignard, and in liis 
train a host of charming artists, who paint you in 
the most gallant spirit allegories, emblems, delight- 
fully coquettish devotional pieces, of the newest 
invention. . . . With such a groundwork, form is 
a secondary matter. Your strolling artists, who 
decorate with their sign-post paintings the little 
chapels of Bavaria and the Tyrol, are all that is 

I3ut why waste your breath speaking of art, 
painting, sculpture ? There is a far different art, 
which is not contented with the surface, but which 
sinks within ; an art which takes the soft clay, a 
softened, spoiled, corrupted soul, and which, instead 
of fortifying, handles, kneads it, takes from it the 
little elasticity that was left, and works the clay 
into mud. Marvellous art, which renders penance 
so sweet to sick souls that they must be ever con- 
fessing — for confessing thus is sinning still. 

This charming casuistry, were it not for its 
squint, might be taken for jurisprudence, whose 
bastard-sister she is ; but, on the other hand, 
how infinitely more winning ! How much would 
scowling jurisprudence be improved would she 
only take pattern by the gentle arts of the other ! 

Who but would love a Papinian, refined by an 
Escobar ? So tender would the heart of Justice at 
length become, that she would loathe her sword, 
and yield it up to these peaceful hands. Happy 
change, from law to grace ! Law judges according 
to merits. Grace selects, distinguishes, favours. 
There would be the strict letter for some, grace for 
others. In other words, law would be reversed. 

Here, at length, we are freed from law, as we 
have been from art and science. What is there 
left. Religion 1 

Alas ! she died the first of all ! Had she lived, 
all might have been renewed, or, rather, nothing 
would have perished. What is left is a machine 
which simulates religion, which counterfeits worship, 
just as in certain eastern countries the devout have 
instruments which pray in their stead, imitating by 
monotonous sounds the murmurings of prayers. 

How low are we sunk now, how deep in death ! 
Thick clouds and dark, are around. . . . 

Where, then, in this all-encircling night, where 
is she who promised still to hold the torch for us 
across the i-uins of empires and of religion ? where 
is philosophy ? Pale light, without heat, her lamp 
has gone out on the icy summit of abstraction. 
Yet, she fancies she still lives, and, voiceless as she 
is, asks pardon for living of theology, which is no 
more alive than she. 

Let us awake. Thanks to God, all this has been 
but a dream ! 

I look on the world again ; it lives. The genius 
of the modern age is true to itself. Checked, per- 
haps, for a moment, it is not the less living, power- 
ful, immense. 'Tis its colossal height which has 
till now hindered it from heeding or knowing the 
clamour of the crawling things at its feet. 

It had sometliing else to do when, with one hand, 
it was exhuming twenty religions, and, with the 
other, measuring the heavens ; when day by day, 
newly invented arts sprang into being from its 
brow, like so many sparks cast off. . . . Yea, it 
was thinking of something else, and is to be ex- 
cused for not having understood that these mites 
were constructing some box or other to shut up the 
giant in. 

The wisdom of the antique East, profound under 
its infantile form, tells us that an unhappy Jin was 
forced into a brazen jar ; rajtid, vast being, he who 
with a wave of his wing could reach the pole, was 
imprisoned in this jar, sealed down with a seal of 
lead, and the jar sunk to the bottom of the sea. 

In the first centux-y of his captivity, the prisoner 
swore that he would gift liis deliverer with empire 
— In the second he swore that he would bestow on 
him all the treasures within the bowels of the earth 
— In the third, he swore that if ever he were set 
free he would issue forth in flames and ccmsume all 
before him. 

Who, tlien, are you ; to suppose that you can 
seal the jar, to imagine that you can hold captive 
the living genius of France ? Are you master, as in 
the eastern tale, of the great seal of Solomon? That 
seal had virtue in it ; it was inscribed with an 
unspeakable name, which you will never learn. 

There is no hand powerful enough to compress, I 
do not say for three centuries, but for a single mo- 
ment, the terrible elasticity of a spirit which in- 
fluences all. Find me a rock heavy enough, a mass 
of lead, of brass, . . . heap on it the whole globe, 
'twill be as a feather's weight. And, were the 

globe heavy enough, and had you narrowly searched 
for and closed every means of escape, by some vent, 
undiscovered by you, the flame would blaze up to 

Here, let us conclude. We have reached the 
term of this course. We have studied first of all, 
the living organism of the true middle age, next, 
the sterile machinism of the spurious middle age, 
which seeks to palm itself upon us ; and lastly, we 
have characterized, and specifically described the 
spirit of death and the spirit of life. 

Had the professor of moral philosophy and his- 
tory the right to handle the loftiest question be- 
longing to the domain of history and of moral 
philosophy 1 

It was not his right only, but his duty. If any 
one doubt it, it must be from ignorance, that here 
where studies are completed, and instruction 
mounts its last and highest stage, knowledge is, 
not the knowledge of this or that, but, in brief, 
absolute knowledge ; complete living knowledge, di- 
recting the interests of life, rejecting its passions, 
but borrowing its lights. To it every light be- 

" Are not the questions of the present day to be 
excepted ?" What is the present day ? Is it so 
easy to isolate the past from it ? No time is out of 
the sphere of knowledge. Even the future belongs 
to it in those sciences which are advanced enough 
to allow of our predicting the retui-n of pheno- 
mena, as in the physical sciences, and as one day we 
shall be enabled (conjecturally) in the historical. 

This right, which the pulpit has claimed for 
itself, with such violence as to make it a pretext 
for personal attacks, the lay pulpit, the professorial 
chair, will exercise here, peaceably, and with the 
measure required by the differences of circum- 
stances and of times. 

If there be in the world one chair more than 
another that has this right, it is the one which I 
now occupy. That right is its birthright, and 
they who know the price paid for it, will never dis- 
pute its title. 

In the tremendous convulsions of the sixteenth 
century, when liberty ventured to set foot into the 
world, and, bi'uised and bleeding stranger as she 
was, seemed hardly able to live, our kings, maugre 
all that was said against her, sheltered her here. 

But the storm blew from the four quarters of 
the heavens. Scholasticism asserted her claims ; 
ignorance waxed furious ; falsehood spoke from the 
seat of truth ; and soon, fanaticism, in arms, laid 
siege to these doors : no doubt thinking, raging 
madman, that it could slaughter thought, poniard 
the mind ! 

Ramus was teacher here. The king, that king 
Charles IX. too, felt for once a noble impulse, and 
sent him word that he would find an asylum in the 
Louvre. Ramus persevered. The only free spot 
in France vvas this small floor, these six square 
feet occupied by this chair. . . enough for cliair 
and for tomb ! 

He made good this chair and this right, and so 
was the salvation of the future. Here he spent his 
blood, his life, his free heart. . . so that this chair, 
transformed, might never be stone nor wood, but a 
living tiling. 

Be not surprised, then, that the enemies of li- 
berty cannot face this chair; that they are troubled 



as they look at it, are involuntarily agitated, and 
betray themselves by inarticulate cries, by savage 
sounds, which have nothing human in them. 

They know that this chair has kept one gift 
beyond their reach ; that were they in the ascen- 
dant, and every voice hushed, it would speak of 
itself. No terror of what was threatened from 
without silenced it, either in 1572, or in 1793. 
And even recently, its voice was heard whilst tu- 
mult was raging, and it prosecuted its firm and 
peaceful mission, whilst volleys of musketry were 
pealing round. 

How, then, could this chair of moral philosophy 
be silent, when the gravest question of all public 
morality came hither in living guise, and forced, if 
I may so speak, the gates of this school ? 

Unworthy should I have been ever again to 
breathe a word from this spot, had I been mute, 
when my friends were thi'eatened in every quarter 
of France, and were upbraided with my teaching 
and friendship. Though I quitted the University 
when I accepted this chair, I do not the less re- 
main in her in heart. I live in her through my 
labours as teacher of philosophy and history, and 
through the many arduous years I spent in her 
with my pupils — cherished remembrances for ever, 
both for them and for me. 

In this common danger, I was bound to let them 
hear a voice they knew, and to tell them that, what- 
ever may happen, there will ever go forth, from 
this chair, a claim for the independence of history, 
which is the judge of time, and for that grandest of 
the liberties of the human mind, philosophy. 

I know that there are, who, caring neither for 
philosophy, nor for liberty, give us scant thanks for 
having broken silence . . . peaceful folk, friends of 
order, who find no fault with those who are having 
their throats cut, but with those who cry out. 
When the cry of " help" is raised, they protest from 
their windows at such a noise at unseemly hours, 
and at quiet people having their rest disturbed. 

These systematic sleepers, in their search for a 
powerful narcotic, have done religion the honour to 
believe that she was the opiate wished for, and they 
have seized on her, who, if the world were dead, 
could awaken the dead to life, as a means of going 
to sleep. 

Skilful in other matters are they, and may well 
be excused their ignorance of religion, as they find 
none in their heart. And so there hiive not been 
wanting those who have rushed to them, saying, 
" We are Religion ! " 

Religion ! How fortunate that you are living 
here. . . . But who are you, good people ; whence 
come you ? how did you get in ? The sentry of 
France kept not good watch that night on the fron- 
tier, for you certainly were not seen. 

From the countries which make books, there have 
come to us books ; foreign literatures, foreign phi- 
losophies, which we have accepted. Tlie countries 
which do not make books, anxious not to remain in 
the rear, have sent us men; the invaders have crept 
in, one by one. 

Good people, who travel by night, I had hap- 
pened to see you by day-time. I remember you 
but too well, as I do those who brought you. It 
was in 1815. Your name is — the foreigner. 

You took good care, luckily, to prove your title to 
the name at once. Instead of restraining yourselves 
and whispering, as one commonly does when one 

enters by stealth, you made a great noise, insulted, 
threatened. And, meeting with no reply, you lifted 
the hand; on whom, wretched men ? — on the law! 

How could you think that this law, buffeted by 
you, could go on pretending not to see you I 

The alarm was giveu ; who dares say that it was 
too soon ? 

Was it too soon when, reviving what had not 
been seen for three hundred years, the pulpit was de- 
secrated by defamatory attacks on individuals, and 
calumnies uttered from the altar ? 

Was it too soon, when, in that province of ours 
which contains the largest number of Protestants, 
you interfered with the Protestant dead ? 

Was it too soon, when immense associations were 
forming, one of which alone in Paris numbers fifty 
thousand persons ? 

Do you speak of liberty ? Speak next of equality ! 
Can there be equality between you and us ? you are 
the leaders of formidable associations ; we are soli- 
tary men. 

You have forty thousand pulpits to speak for you, 
willingly or unwillingly. You have a hundred 
thousand confessionals, from which you move and 
influence all family life. You hold in your hand 
that which is the basis of the family, (and of the 
world,) you hold the Mother ; the child is only 
an accessary. Ah ! what can the father do when 
she comes home from church or confessional as one 
lost, throws herself into his arms, and exclaims^ — 
" I am damned !" You may be sure that to pacify 
her alarmed imagination, he will consent the next 
day to give you up his son. — Twenty thousand 
children in your little seminaries; two hundred thou- 
sand, presently, in the schools under your influence! 
Millions of women who only breathe as you direct ! 

And we, what are we opposed to these vast forces? 
A voice, no more ... a voice to call out to France. 
She is now warned, and must take her own course 
She sees and feels, however, the net in which they 
thought to enmesh her in her sleep. 

To all sound hearts, one last word ! To all, lay- 
men or priests (and may a free voice reach them in 
the depths of their bondage !) — may they all aid us 
by courageous words or by silent sympathy, and 
may all bless from their hearts and their altars, the 
holy crusade we have begun for God and liberty ! 

[From the day this lecture was delivered, the 
situation of affairs changed. The Jesuits published 
at Lyons their second pamphlet*; to explain the 
drift of which, we must go back a little. 

* This time, it is no longer a canon, but a cure, who 
affixes his name to it. The appeal made by the press to the 
inferior clergy had given great alarm, and in this new pam- 
phlet the strongest desire is visible to come to terms witti 
them. Of the two demands made by the working clergy 
(les cures deaservants), namely, the suspension of the power 
of removal (I'inamovibilite) and appeal to law, they admit the 
first, as it isolates the cures from the bishop, but dread the 
last; since appeal to law, whilst limiting the bishop's 
authority, would yet strengthen it, and alter the bishopric 
into a regular system of administration, instead of leaving 
it, as it is, a weak, violent tyranny, hateful to the clergy, 
and therefore obliged to throw itself for support on the 
Jesuits and on Rome. See the Simple Coup-d'-(Eil, p. 1 70 — 
178. The hand of the Jesuits is visible throughout the 
pamphlet. No one can mistake it ; and I could instance, if 
need were, proof upon proof. We have just seen how easily 
they make their peace with the cures at the expense of the 
bishop, agreeing that, after all, "The bishop is a mortal," 
&c. The pamphlet speaks of all the states of Europe, i 

A whole work niiglit be written on their manceu- 
vres for the last few months, on their tactics in 
Switzerland and in France. 

Their starting point is their great success during 
the winter, when they carried so quickly the small 
cantons, seized Lucerne, and occupied St. Gothard, 
as they have long done the Valais and the Simplon. 

Great military positions ; but, beware of vertigo. 
France, seen from those Alpine summits, must have 
seemed small to them ; smaller, apparently, than 
the lake of the Four cantons. 

'The signals have been transmitted from the Alps 
to Fourvieres, and from Fourvieres (Lyons), to 
Paris. The moment seemed propitious. Our good 
France slept, or seemed to sleep. They wrote to 
each other (as did formerly the Jews from Portu- 
gal :) " Come quickly! the land is good; the people 
simple ; all will be ours." 

For a year they were tampering with us, and 
found no limits to our patience. They attacked in- 
dividuals, railed at the government ; but nothing 
stirred. They struck ; not a word followed. They 
went on seeking out for some sensitive point on the 
hardened cuticle. 

And then, and then, they were fired with extra- 
ordinary courage. They thi-ew aside the staff, took 
to the sword, the huge two-handed sword, and, with 
this gothic weapon, aimed a heavy blow, the great 
blow of the Monopoly (charging the University with 
a monopoly of education). 

The dignity of the University not allowing her to 
reply, others faced the attack, and, with the press 
to aid, and crossed against true steel, the famous 
two-handed sword turned out to be a wooden sword 
after all. 

Great was the alarm on this, brisk the retreat, 
and out came the naive ejaculation of fear : — 
"Alas ! how can you kill us ? We no longer exist!" 

But, if you no longer exist, who wrote that huge 
libel of yours ? — " Ah ! sir ! it was the police played 
us that trick . . . no, no, no, we mistake, it was the 
University, which, in order to ruin us, mfamously 
defamed herself*." 

Recovering, however, from their first fright, 
feeling that they were not killed, and, looking back, 
they saw that no one was following them. , . . 
Hereupon they halted, stood firm, and again un- 
sheathed the sword. . . . 

Forthwith a new libel, but quite diff'erent from 
the first, and full of strange confessions such as no 
one ever expected. It may be summed up as fol- 
lows : — 

" Learn to know us, and, first of all, learn that in 

except those under the influence of the Jesuits, which are 
either hardly named, or not at all. AVe find (p. 85) the author 
betraying himself by saying, " The name of Jesuit, so 
honourable everywhere, &rc. ! " No one in France, not even 
a Jesuit, would have written this. The pamphlet must 
have been composed in Savoy or at Fribourg. 

• It is certain (strange as it may seem) that they com- 
mitted all kind of follies on their first alarm— it was an old 
woman, a beadle, a carrier of holy water, who had whispered 
this about. 

our previous work we lied. We spoke of liberty of 
teaching ; which means that the clergy ought to be the 
only teachers *. We spoke of the liberty of th^ press ; 
meaning for us alone ; it is a lever which the priest 
ought to avail himself off . As to manufacturing 
and commercial liberty, to get possession of trade of 
all kinds is one of the duties of the Church J . 
Liberty of worship ; not a word on't. 'Tis an in- 
vention of the Apostate, Julian. . . . Mixed 
marriages we will no longer suffer; such marriages 
were contracted at the court of Catharine de Me- 
dicis on the eve of St. Bartholomew § . 

" Beware, beware ; we are the stronger. We ad- 
vance a surprising but unanswerable proof of this, 
namely, that all the powers of Europe are against 
us II . Save and except two or three petty states, 
the whole world reprobates us." 

Strange, that confessions of the kind should have 
escaped them ! We had said nothing near so strong. 
In the first pamphlet, we had noticed signs of a 
wandering mind ; but to hear such confessions, 
such a lie given by themselves to-day to their words 
of yesterday! This is a terrible judgment from 
God. . . , Let us humble ourselves. 

Such is the fate of having taken the holy name 
of liberty in vain. You supposed that it was a 
word to be pronounced with impunity, though not 
felt at heart. . . You made furious efforts to force 
this word up from your chest, and it has happened 
to you as to the false prophet, Balaam, who cursed, 
when he thought to bless ; you would still lie, would 
still exclaim Liberty! as in your first pamphlet, and 
you cry. Death to Liberty ! All that you have de- 
nied, you are now crying out at the top of your 
lungs to the passers by.] 

* Teaching belongs to the clergy by right divine . . . the 
University has usurped the functions. . . . Either the Uni- 
versity or Catholicism must give way, &c. p. 104. 

+ To avail themselves of t/ie press does not mean making 
use of the press merely, since the writers of the pamphlet 
acknowledge their efforts to hinder the sale of Protestant 
works. See note, p. 81. 

t Ibidem, p. 191. If we would know the fate of all in- 
dustry under such influences, we have but to turn our eyes 
to the misery of the greater number of the countries where 
it prevails ; the one where it reigns without rival — the Papal 
states — is a desert. 

§ The Jesuit who wrote page 82 to page 85, inclusive, 
and, above all, the note to page 83, is one who will be heard 
of again ; he is still young and ignorant, that is plain 
enough ; but he has a touch both of Jacques Clement and 
of Marat within him. 

These pages, more violent than all that has been con- 
demned in the most violent political pamphlets, seem got 
together to exasperate the fanaticism of our peasants of the 
south. Indeed, the v,ork was destined for the south alone, 
not a single copy having been sent to Paris. In the note 
alluded to, the bellicose Jesuit passes his forces in review, 
and ends with this sinister phrase : " Huguenot mar- 

they ended in civil war." — Simple Coup-d'ceil, &c. p. 83. 

II A good third of the pamphlet is taken up with proving 





The emotion caused by a mei-e philosophical dis- 
cussion cannot be ascribed to any person in parti- 
cular. The impression produced has been deep 
only because it has made manifest, along with anew 
phasis of the public mind, a danger, in the ex- 
istence of which otherwise it would have been 
difficult to believe. Who does not perceive that in 
future these discussions are destined to enlarge 
their sphere ? They will emerge from the schools, 
and enter into the political world. Nothing is use- 
less which can serve to affix to them from the 
outset their true character. 

I have been impelled into this discussion by 
two reasons : first, by the provocation of reiterated 
violence ; secondly, by the persuasion that the 
question at issue was, though nominally the Uni- 
versity, the riglit of thought, religious and philo- 
sophical liberty ; that is to say, the very prin- 
ciple of modern science and society. 

After having had recourse to violence as long as 
they were able, the adversaries of the freedom of 
thought appear now in the character of martyrs ; 
they publicly offer up prayers in the church for the 
persecuted Jesuits ; but we cannot suffer them to 
remain behind this mask. Why were they not 
content with calumniating 1 Never, for my part, 
would I have dreamt of disturbing their repose. 
But they were not satisfied ; they courted the com- 
bat. And now that they have met the enemy, they 
complain of having been injured. During several 
days we beheld, at the foot of our chairs, our 
modern leaguers shouting, hissing, vociferating ; 
and the worst of it is, that all this was done in the 
name of liberty. For the sake of maintaining the 
independence of opinion, they began by stifling the 
examination of opinion. 

Little by little, instruction and science were 
placed in a state of siege ; we waited until assailed 
by outrage, in order to prove that it was necessary 
to carry the war into the country of the assailants. 
From the day when we began the struggle, we 
made up our minds to accept battle under what- 
ever form it might be offered. 

One thing has facilitated this task for me — the 
knowledge, namely, that such a situation was not 
personal. For a long time, in fact, we had seen 
an artificial fanaticism turning to its own account 
the beliefs of the sincere ; religious liberty de- 
nounced as an impious doctrine ; Protestantism 
driven to madness by unheard-of outrages ; the 
pastors of Alsace obliged to calm, by a collective 
declaration, their communes, astonished by so many 
savage insults ; an incredible decree, obtained by 
surprise, which took away one half of the country 
churches from their legitimate proprietors ; a 
priest, assisted by his parishioners, casting to the 
winds the bones of the Protestants, and this impiety 

left insolently unpunished *; the bust of Luther, 
with many shameful circumstances, torn from a 
Lutheran town; latent war, organized in this quiet 
province, and the tribune silent concerning these 
strange doings : on the other hand, the Jesuits 
twice as numerous under the Revolution as they 
were under the Restoration, and reviving, along 
with themselves, the maxims of the society, inde- 
scribable infamies, which Pascal even would not 
have dared to describe in order to combat, and which 
are claimed as the proper food of all the semina- 
ries and confessors of France ; the bishops, one by 
one, turning against the authority by which they 
were appointed ; and in spite of so many treache- 
ries, a singular facility of procuring fresh ones; 
the inferior clergy in absolute servitude, a new 
proletariat beginning to take courage to utter com- 
plaints; and in the midst of all these things, when 
wisdom should have suggested a defensive attitude, 
a morbid ardour of provocation, a fever of ca- 
lumny sanctified by the Cross— such was the gene- 
ral situation. 

The ground, morever, was well prepared; society 
had been worked upon for many years in its 
heights and in its depths, in the workshop, 
in the schools, through the heart and through 
the head. Opinion seemed to succumb on all 
occasions. Accustomed to retire, why should 
it not take another backward step ? From the 
outset, Jesuitism found itself naturally allied with 
Carlism, in the same spirit of intrigue and of 
painted decrepitude. What St. Simon calls that 
froth of nobility, could not fail to mingle with this 
leaven. As to one portion of the bom-geoisie, in 

* The Consistory of Paris, in alluding to the same fact, 
in a solemn Inauguration speech, pronounced in the presence 
of the minister of public worship, makes use of the same 
expression that I do, " the unpunished profanation of our 
tombs." See Inauguration de VEglise Evangelique de la 
Redemption, printed by order of the consistory, p. 19. 

Some neo-Catholic writers have thought fit, in spite of this, 
to bring my words under the notice of the law. These words 
were written under the impression produced by a summary 
judgment which declared the conduct of the accused ec- 
clesiastic blameable. A subsequent decision has fully ac- 
quitted him. According to his defenders, he did not scatter 
the bones of the Reformed to the winds ; he only looked 
upon the dust in the bottom of the tombs, and pushed 
back a little the Protestant communion-table. I respect 
the decision of those courts, but think at the same time 
that they are not judges of the piety or impiety of actions. 
Since when has it been sufficient for a priest to be in exact 
conformity with the requirements of the correctional police if 
Without disobeying them is it not possible to wound that 
which is most sacred in the religious conscience? It is not 
the correctional tribunal which punishes impiety, but ec- 
clesiastical authority. Our adversaries always confound 
police and religion. 



its solicitude to mimic a factitious remnant of aris- 
toci'acy, it was quite prepared to consider as a mark 
of good taste, the imitation of religious, literary, 
and social dotage. 

The time accordingly seemed good for sur- 
prising those who were thought to slumber. It 
was strongly felt, that after so much declamation, 
it would be a decisive blow if in the College of 
France the liberty of speech and of instruction 
could be crushed. If this result could be obtained 
by a coup de main, it might be represented as 
the effect of a sudden manifestation of public 
opinion; such a triumph was worth the trouble of 
emerging from the catacombs, and appearing be- 
fore the public. Appear, accordingly, they did, and 
repented as soon as they appeared ; for we under- 
stood the full purport of the meditated act of vio- 
lence and the critical nature of the time ; we 
depended, for our defence, not on the power of our 
eloquence, but on our determination to concede 
nothing, and on the enlightened conscience of our 
audience. All that a phrensy, sincere or simulated, 
was able to effect, was to smother for a time our 
voices, and thus to give to public opinion an oppor- 
tunity of declaring itself; after which these new 
missionaries of religious liberty retreated, with 
fury in their hearts, and full of shame for having 
exposed themselves in the full glare of day, and 
ready to deny themselves ; as, in fact, they did 
deny themselves the very next day. 

This defeat was entirely owing to the power 
of opinion and of the press, to the upright feelings 
of the new generation, which does not understand 
such artifices. If the same follies are repeated, 
we shall receive the same support. The question, 
in some respects, concei'ns us no longer ; it re- 
mains to be seen how the state will treat it when it 
falls in its way. It would certainly be very con- 
venient to sit down between the two camps, to 
attack Ultra-montanism with one hand and to 
flatter it with the other ; but such a situation 
would be full of peril. A decision on one side or 
the other must be come to. It is not for me to 
deny the power of Jesuitism and of the intei-ests 
connected with it, a power only beginning to be 
felt ; and which regains silently in the darkness 
what it loses in open day. The idea of an alliance 
with it therefore may present itself; the attempt 
may be made to rest at least one foot of the throne 
on this ground. If the coalition be sincere, it will 
be powerful. But it must be avowed ; otlierwise 
it may happen that the consequence of over- 
cunning may be the opposition both of the Ultra- 
montanists and of their antagonists. 

It is strange that such questions as these should 
have taken society by surprise, and that no warn- 
ing voice was raised in the tribune. Under the 
Restoration this was the watch-tower from which 
the sign of coming storms was descried afar off, 
and whence the counti-y was forewarned of ap- 
proaching dangers long before they were imminent. 
Why has the tribune lost this privilege ? I begin 
to fear that those four hundred statesmen conceal 
one from the other the country they inhabit. 

This is a more serious matter than some may 
imagine. It concerns a throne and a dynasty. 
I know of men who go about daily saying — " There 
.ire no Jesuits. Where are the Jesuits 1" By 
dissembling the question, they only prove how 
horoughly they comprehend its bearing. 

The religious re-action which is attempted to 
be turned to the advantage of a sect is not, in 
fact, without an answering voice in society. What 
man is there who has not been, as it were, wan- 
tonly disgusted with political interests and hopes ? 
Having seen during twelve years, what are called 
the heads of parties employing all their talents in 
mutually aiding each other to deceive the pub- 
lic, who has not for a time been disgusted with 
this corruption that has at last become a mat- 
ter of habit, and turned his mind towards 
Him who alone intrigues not, deceives not, 
lies not ? This religious disposition is inevita- 
ble. It will be fruitful and salutary. Unhap- 
pily, every body begins already to trade upon 
this revulsion ; some even avow that this restored 
Divinity may be an excellent instrument in the 
hands of the powers that be. What a piece of good 
fortune would it, indeed, prove for many a states- 
men, if proud, warlike, revolutionary, philosophical 
France, weary at length with all things, even with 
herself, were at length to consent, abandoning all 
her political fervour, to tell her beads in the dust 
by the side of Italy, Spain, and South America ! 

We are told, you attack Jesuitism as a precau- 
tionary measure. Why do you separate it from the 
rest of the clergy ? I separate that only which 
desires to be separated. I develop the maxims of 
that order, which re])resents the combinations of 
political religion. Those who, without bearing 
the name of the order, govern themselves by the 
same maxims, will easily apportion to themselves 
their share of what I say ; as for the others, an 
opportunity is afforded them of denying the am- 
bitious, of regaining the misled, of condemning 
the calumniators. 

It is high time that we should know, whether 
the spirit of the French revolution is nothing more 
than a hackneyed word, which may publicly and 
officially be despised. Does Catholicism, by placing 
itself under the banner of Jesuitism, desire to 
recommence a war which has already been so 
fatal to it ? Will it be the friend or the enemy of 
France ? 

The worst thing that could happen to it would 
be to persist in showing that its profession of 
faith is not only different from, but inimical to the 
profession of faith of the state. In the institutions 
she has founded on the equality of all existing 
creeds, France professes, teaches the unity of 
Christianity under the dogmas of particular 
churches. This is her confession, as it is written 
in the sovereign law ; — every Frenchman belongs 
legally to the same church under different names ; 
we henceforth recognize here no schismatics, no 
heretics, but those who, denying every other church 
but their own, all authority but their own, de- 
sire to impose it on all the others, to reject all 
the others, without discussion, and who dare to 
say : Out of my church, there is no salvation ; 
whereas the state says precisely the contrary. It 
was not from caprice that the law abolished a 
state religion. France could not adopt as its 
representative this Ultra-montanism, which, by its 
principle of exclusion, is diametrically opposed to 
that social creed and that religious universality 
which are inscribed in the constitution as the result 
not only of the Revolution, but of the whole of 
modern history. From which it follows that, in 
order that things should be otherwise, one of two 



things must happen, either that France should 
renounce her pi)litical and social communion, or 
that Catholicism should, in truth, be universal, 
and should comprehend what it now contents 
itself with accui-sing. 

Some, who, it would appear, see further than 
their neighbours, entertain, it must be confessed, a 
singular hope ; they observe what is going on 
among the dissenting persuasions, and by dwelling 
on the intestine agitations of the Anglican and 
Greek churches, and of Protestantism in Germany, 
they persuade themselves that England, Prussia, 
Gei-many, and even Russia, are secretly inclining 
towards them, and will some day, with their eyes 
shut, pass over to Catholicism as they understand it. 
Nothing, however, can be more puerile than such 
a belief. To believe that schism is nothing but a 
fancy of ninety millions of men, which can be put 
an end to by a new fancy of orthodoxy, is a sort 
of madness common with those who appear to be 
alone in the confidence of Providence in its govern- 
ment of history. If Protestantism is accommo- 
dating itself to certain points of the Catholic 
doctrine, does any one really persuade liimself 
that it is simply in order to deny itself, and to give 
itself up witiiout reciprocal conditions ? It as- 
similates to itself, it is true, divers portions of the 
primeval tradition ; but, by this labour of con- 
ciliation, it is bringing about absolutely the con- 
trary of what those among us desire, who are 
dreaming only of excluding, interdicting, anathe- 
matizing. It expands itself in proportion as those 
on our side narrow their position ; and if ever such 
a conversion takes place, I predict that our Ultra- 
montanists will be more embarrassed with their 
converts than they are now with the schismatics. 

They ask for liberty in order to destroy liberty. 
Grant them this weapon ; I do not wisli to see 
them deprived of it; it will recoil upon themselves. 
Throw open for them, if you will, every barrier ; 
it is the way to bring the question to an issue, and 
a way which I do not dislike. Let them be every- 
where ; let them invade every department ; and 
ten years will not elapse before they are driven 
away, for the fortieth time, along with the govern- 
ment, which has been or seemed to be their 
accomplice ; it is for you to decide if this is what 
you want to accomplish. 

In this struggle which is attempted to be excited 
between Ultra-montanism and the French Revo- 
lution, wherefore is the first always and necessarily 
vanquished ? Because the French Revolution, in 
its principle, is more truly Christian than Ultra- 
montanism ; because the sentiment of univer- 
sal religion pervades France rather than Rome. 
The law evolved from the French Revolution is 

comprehensive enough to assimilate the lives of 
tliose whom religious sects kept separated ex- 
teriorly. It has conciliated in spirit and in truth 
those whom Ultra-montanism desired eternally to 
separate ; it has made brothei*s of those wiiora 
she made sectarians ; it has raised what she con- 
demns ; it has consecrated what she proscribes ; 
it has substituted an evangelical alliance where she 
would have nothing but the anathema of the old 
law ; it has destroyed the names of Huguenots 
and Papists, and allowed only that of Christian to 
remain ; it has pleaded the cause of the people, of 
the humble, when she spoke only for the princes 
and the powerful of the earth. That is to sav, the 
political law, however imperfect it may be, has 
been found to be more in conformity with the 
Gospel than those doctors who aff'ect alone to 
speak in the name of the Gospel. By drawing 
together, blending, uniting in the state the various 
members of the family of Christ, it has displayed 
more intelligence, more love, more Christian feel- 
ing, than those who, for three centuries, have been 
content to say Raca to half Christendom. 

As long as political France preserves this po- 
sition in the world, she will be inexpugnable to all 
the efforts of Ultra-montanism, because, religiously 
speaking, she is the superior; she is more Christian, 
because nearer to the promised unity ; more 
Catholic, because her expanded principle includes 
the Greek and the Latin churches, the Lutheran 
and the Calvinistic, the Protestant and the Roman 
within the same law, the same name, the same 
life, the same city of alliance. France has been 
the first to plant her banner, without the limits of 
any sect, in the living idea of Christianity. This 
constitutes the greatness of the Revohition ; she 
will fall only if, unfaithful to this universal dogma, 
she enters, as some persons invite her to do, into 
the sectarian policy of Ultra-montanism. 

To support so much pride, show me a single 
point of the earth where a strictly Catholic policy 
is not combated and overthrown by facts. In Eu- 
rope, in the East, in the two Americas, it is sufficient 
to raise this banner to introduce immediately both 
moral and physical decay. When France, in the 
beginning of this century, governed the world ; was 
it in the name of Ultra-montanism ? Was it Ultra- 
montanism that conquered the world ? Even Aus- 
tria does not adopt this flag ; she lets her Church 
loose only at a distance fi-om herself, to complete 
the prostration of her conquered provinces. Italy, 
Spain, Portugal, Paraguay, Poland, Ireland, Bo- 
hemia, all these people victims of the same policy — 
is it their fate that you envy ? Let us speak plainly. 
Here are holocausts sufficient to sacrifice on an altar 
which is no longer the salvation of any one. 



Divers circumstances compel me to explain the 
meaning I attach to the words, liberty of dis- 

* Delivered May 10th, 1843. — I have noticed expressions 
of sympathy among my auditory as long as the attempts at 
interruption were continued. 

cussion, as regards public teaching. I wish 
to do so with moderation ; calmly, but with the 
most perfect frankness. So long as attacks came 
from a distance, even when I had fallen under 
the anathema of episcopal charges, and of holy 



chairs, it was possible, and perhaps decent, to pre- 
serve silence ; but when insult came and showed 
its face here, within these precincts, at the very foot 
of these pacific chairs, it became necessary to speak. 
I am told that scenes of disorder are meditated, 
and are to commence to-day, during my address, 
{Derisive laughter. Applause.) I should not give 
credence to this if I did not know, from what has just 
taken place during the lecture of a man whose every 
sentiment I share, of my dearest friend, M. Miche- 
let, what kind of liberty we are to expect. Can 
it be true, that persons come here for the sole pur- 
pose of insulting us incognito, in case we should 
venture to think differently from them ? Where 
are we then ? Are we in a theatre ; and how 
long is it, since I, for my part, undertook to please, 
individually, every spectator, on pain of infamy ? In 
truth, that is a sordid task which I did not accept. 
Do you think that instruction consists in flattering 
the dominant idea of evei-y man, without ever 
coming in collision with a single passion, a single 
prejudice ? Silence would be a thousand times 
better. In entering here, let us remember that 
we are entering the College of Finance, that is 
to say, the very domains of discussion and free 
examination ; that this asylum of liberty is con- 
fided to us all, and that it is my sacred duty not 
to allow this hereditary character of independence 
i to diminish or to change. 

If there be any persons here who are animated 
against me by an especial feeling of hatred, what, 
I ask, do they expect ? what do they want ? Do 
they hope, by menaces, to modify my words, or 
to stop my mouth ? I should fear that the con- 
trary would be the case, if my high sense of the 
duty I am fulfilling did not give me the power to 
persevere in the moderation which I believe to be 
the sign of truth. Do they think, since it is best 
to speak plainly, that their abuse will drive me to 
despair, or that I can do nothing better than make 
reprisals ? If so, they are mistaken ; I shall even go 
so far as to say, that I consider the violence of abuse 
a sign of sincerity, because, with a little more cal- 
culation, their accusations would have been better 
chosen. Are the opinions I have elsewhere publish- 
ed, the reasons why I am to be persecuted here ? I 
am not sorry to have this opportunity of declaring 
that whatever I have written, up to this day, I be- 
lieve, I think, I sustain still ; whatever opinion 
may be formed on this subject, no one can deny 
that I have remained one and consistent with 
myself. Or, is it my general spirit of liberty in 
religious matters ? I shall presently come to that 
point ; but if you want a profession of faith, I be- 
lieve, as the state teaches us, in a fundamental law, 
evolved from fifty years of revolutions and of trials, 
that all sincere communions in this country partake 
of the living Spirit of God. I do not believe that out 
of my church there is no salvation. In fine, is it 
the manner in which I announced the subject of 
i my course of lectures ? But you are yourselves 
I witness ; was it possible to do so with less of bit- 
terness, more of moderation ? It is the question then 
i itself which they would like to stifle. Yes, let us be 
I frank, it is this name of Jesuits which does all the 
j harm ; it is for touching on the origin, on the 
spirit of the Jesuits, that even before I have 
! opened my mouth, I am accused by people who 
I never forgive. 
i VVhy, it is asked, speak of the Society of Jesus 

in a course of lectures on the literature of the 
South 1 What aflinity can there be between things 
so opposite to each other ? I should be very unfor- 
tunate, and have strangely wasted my time, if you 
had not already perceived in all its extent this indis- 
soluble affinity. At the end of the sixteenth century, 
in Spain, and, above all, in Italy, public opinion was 
effaced. Writers, poets, artists, disappear one 
after the other ; instead of the ardent, audacious 
generation that preceded it, the new men stagnate 
in an atmosphere of death ; we hear no more of the 
heroic innovations of the Campanellas, the Brunos : 
we have, instead, a honied poetry, an insipid prose, 
that exhales a kind of faint sepulchral odour. But, 
whilst everything perishes in the national genius, 
behold a little society, that of the Jesuits, grows 
visibly, insinuates itself everywhere in the perishing 
states, feeds upon what is left of life in the heart 
of Italy, draws strength and nourishment from the 
substance of this great partitioned body ; and when 
so great a phenomenon appears in the world, in- 
fluencing all other intellectual facts, and becoming 
their principle, I must not venture to speak of it ! 
When, pursuing my subject, I come into immediate 
contact with so powei'ful an institution, which in- 
fluences every mind, which comprehends, epitomizes 
the whole system of the South, I must pass on and 
avert my eyes ! What remains then for me to do \ 
To confine myself to a few sonnets, and to the 
amorous mythology of those periods of decay 1 
Suppose it even so ; in spite of ourselves we 
could not avoid the question. For, after having 
studied these miserable things, thei-e would still 
remain to describe the deleterious influence which 
was one of their most manifest causes ; and the 
only difference would be, if the question of Jesuit- 
ism were postponed, that I should invert the order, 
and place at the end what ought to have been at the 
beginning ; to study the death of a people, if we en- 
deavour to penetrate its causes, is as important as 
to study its life. 

At least, it is added, you might have exhibited 
the eff'ect without the cause, letters and policy 
without the spirit that swayed them, Italy without 
Jesuitism, the dead without the living. No, I 
could not, and, moreover, I will not. 

What ! I should discover, by careful observa- 
tion, all Southern Europe exhaust itself in the 
development and the formation of this establish- 
ment, languish and perish under this influence ; 
and I, whose business it is, at this moment espe- 
cially, to study the inhabitants of the South, should 
say nothing of the cause which makes them 
perish ! (Murmurs.) I should quietly behold my 
country invited into an alliance which others have 
so dearly atoned for; and I should not say, " Take 
care; you have the benefit of the experience of 
others; — the most unfortunate nations in Europe, 
those which are the least in ci'edit, the least in 
authority, those which seem the most abandoned 
by God, are those in which the society of Loyola 
has its focus ! " {Murmurs, stamping of the feet, 
cries ; for some minutes the speaker's voice is 
drowned.) Do not yield to the impulse; example 
shows that it is fatal ; do not sit under this sha- 
dow ; it has put to sleep and poisoned, during 
two centuries, both Spain and Italy. (Tumult, cries, 
hisses, applause.) I ask you if, from these general 
facts, 1 may not draw the consequence, — what be- 
comts of all instruction in such matters ? 



I But my astonishment redoubles. For wliat or- 
I der, for what society is this strange privilege 
i claimed ? Whom do you desire to place beyond the 
reach of discussion and observation ? Can it be the 
' living clergy of France ? Or can it be one of those 
: pacific and modest communions which require pro- 
i tection against the violence of an intolerant niajor- 
1 ity ? No, it is a society which (we shall presently 
I see whether with or without rejison) has been at 
I different times expelled from all the states of Eu- 
j rope, which the pope himself has condemned, which 
France has rejected, which does not exist in the 
eyes of the state, which rather is held to be legally 
I dead in the public law of our country; and it is this 
remnant without a name, which hides itself, shrinks 
from sight, grows by denying itself; it is this which 
we are not permitted to study, to consider, to ana- 
lyze, in its origin and its history ! Every other 
order has confessedly had its time of decline, of 
corruption, has been accommodated in its spirit to 
a particular epoch, after which it has given way to 
others, pretty nearly in the same manner as political 
societies, states, peoples, which have all had their 
fixed day and their destiny ; and the Jesuit society 
is the only one of which the faults, the phases of 
decline, the signs of decrepitude, may not he pointed 
out ; it is blasphemy to contrast its time of degra- 
dation with its time of greatness, because this is to 
attribute to it the vicissitudes common to every 
other establishment ; to doubt of its immutability 
is almost an effort of courage. Whither will this 
road lead us ? Are we quite sure that this is the 
road of the France of July ? {Applause.) 

I will speak my whole mind. Yes, in this auda- 
city there is something that pleases and attracts 
me ; it seems that I now comprehend and exhibit 
the greatness of this society better than all its apolo- 
gists ; for they would that I should not speak of it; 
and I on the contrary maintain that this society has 
heen so powerful, its organization so ingenious and 
full of life, its influence so long and so universal, 
that it is impossible not to. speak of it, whatever 
subject we treat of towards the end of the revival of 
letters, — poetry, art, morality, politics, institutions. 
I maintain, that after having seized upon the whole 
substance of the South, it alone during a whole 
century has remained living in the bosom of these 
dead societies. At this very moment, torn in frag- 
ments, trampled or crushed by so many solenm 
edicts, it does not argue a little genius and a small 
courage to come to life under our eyes, half to raise 
itself, to speak as a master when it has scarcely 
emerged from the dust, to provoke, to menace, todefy 
anew intelligence and common sense. If the world, 
after having extirpated the Jesuits, is in a humour 
to allow itself again to be mastered, they are right 
to make the trial ; if they succeed it will be the 
greatest mii-acle of modern times. At all events, 
they obey their law, their condition of existence, 
their destiny ; I do not blame them, it is in their 
character. All will go well if, on the other hand, 
we all preserve our own. Yes, this reaction, in spite 
of the intolerance of which it boasts, does not dis- 
please me; it will be useful to the future, if every 
one does his duty : that is to say, if science, philo- 
sophy, human intelligence, being provoked and sum- 
moned, accept the great defiance. Perhaps we were 
about to betake ourselves to slumber in the posses- 
sion of a certain number of ideas, which some cai-ed 
no longer to increase ; it is good that truths should 

from time to time be disputed, for man is thus in- 
cited to acquire new ones ; if he is left in undis- 
turbed possession of his inheritance he does not in- 
crease it, but allows it to diminish. They accuse 
us of being too bold ; I accept a portion of the re- 
proach ; only I will say, that instead of being too 
bold, I begin to fear that we have been too timid. 
Compare in fact for a moment the state of instruc- 
tion in our country and in the universities of the 
despotic governments of the North. Was it not in 
a catholic country, in a catholic imiversity, at Mu- 1 
nich, that Schelling developed during thirty years | 
with impunity in his chair, with unceasing boldness, | 
the idea of that new Christianity, of that new 
church, which transforms both past and present ? 
Is it not in a despotic country that Hegel with still 
greater independence has revived all the questions 
which relate to dogmas l And there it is not only 
theories and mysteries that are freely discussed by 
philosophy, but even the letter of the Old and New 
Testaments, to which the same disinterested spirit 
of criticism is applied as to Greek and Roman 

Such is the life of instraction even in despotic 
states. Whatever can put man on the track of truth 
is permitted, allowed ; and we, in a free country, 
on the morrow of a revolution, what have we done ? 
Have we used, abused that philosophical liberty 
which the time granted us, and of which nobody- 
could deprive us ? Have we unfurled the banner 
of philosophy and of free discussion as far as it was 
lawful so to do ? Assuredly not ; as everybody be- 
lieved that this independence was for ever conquer- 
ed, nobody was in a hurry to make full use of it ; 
the most daring questions were adjourned; it was 
desired by excess of care to remove every occasion 
of difference. Philosophy, which might have been 
beti-ayed into overweening pride by the triumph of 
July, has, on the contrary, bent herself to a humility 
that has surprised all the world ; and this humble 
situation, in which at least we expected to find peace, 
is the refuge which they refuse to leave us. Must 
we concede, retire further ? Why a single back- 
ward step might throw us out of our age. What 
must we do then ? Advance. (Applmise.) For my 
part I thank those who provoke us to action and 
life. Who knows that we should not have ended 
by sitting down in a sterile and false repose 1 Many 
thought that the .alliance of belief and knowledge 
had at last been consummated, the goal attained, 
the problem solved. But no ! our adversaries were 
right ; the time of repose has not yet come ; the 
struggle is useful when we engage in it in good fiiith ; 
it is in these eternal struggles of knowledge and be- 
lief, that man raises himself to a supei'ior belief, to a 
superior knowledge. Why should we be relieved 
from the condition of the holy combat imposed upon 
all our predecessors ? The time will come when 
those who so violently dispute, will repose together ; 
that time has not yet come ; until then it is right 
that each man should perform his task and should 
combat in his own way, as the alliance has been 
broken on one side. 

Once more 1 thank my adversaries ; they follow 
their mission, which until now has been, by an im- 
mutable contradiction, to provoke, to spur on the 
human mind, to compel it to advance further every 
time it begins to jjause, or to be satisfied with the 
tranquil possession of a portion only of truth. Man 
is more timid than he seems ; if ho is not opposed 



he is too accommodating. Is not this his history 
during the whole of the middle age ? And this 
history, this perpetual struggle, which constantly 
reanimates and excites him, has it not almost en- 
tirely taken place in the very localities where we 
now are, on this heroic mountain of Genevieve ? 
Why do you wonder at the combat ? We are on 
the very field of battle. Was it not here, in these 
chairs, that from Abelard to Ramus appeared all 
those who served the cause of the independence of 
the human mind, when it was most contested ? That 
is our tradition: the spirit of those men is with us. 
As the objections, which they trampled under foot, 
and which were believed to be for ever buried with 
them, re-appear, let us do as they did ; let us even 
carry the banner of free discussion still further. 

At the point at which we have arrived, there is a 
fundamental question, which lies at the bottom of 
every difficulty, and on which I desire to explain my- 
self so clearly, that no confusion shall remain in the 
minds of those who hear me. What, according to the 
spirit of our new institutions, is the right of discus- 
sion and examination in public instruction ? In 
terms still more precise — is a man who teaches here 
publicly in the name of the state, before men of dif- 
erent creeds, obliged to adhere to the letter of a 
particular communion, to carry into all his re- 
searches this spirit of exclusion, to allow nothing 
to appear which might cause a temporary separa- 
tion ? If I am answered in the affirmative, I 
should like you to tell me which is the communion 
which ought to be sacrificed to the others; whether 
i it ought to be that which excludes every other as 
so many errors ; or that which receives them all as 
so many promises ; for I do not imagine that any 
one would desire, without a moment's deliberation, 
to have the minority passed over as non-existent. 
Am I here Catholic or Protestant ? To state the 
question is to solve it. 

Even under the Restoration, when there existed a 
state religion, instruction derived a portion of its dis- 
tinction from its very liberty ; on one hand, a Pro- 
testantism learnedly impartial, on the other, a Catho- 
licism boldly innovating, whicli approximated and 
blended in a community of ideas and hopes. Now, 
that which science, literature, philosophy, had set 
forth with so much splendour in theory, was intro- 
duced into the real world, into our institutions, 
by the Revolution of July. And now that there is 
no longer a state religion, how can you expect the 
state publicly to set up intolerance here ? That 
would be an evident contradiction of lier own prin- 
ciple. 1 know but one means of introducing the 
principle of exclusion into these chairs; it would be 
to allow all our freshest recollections to fall into 
oblivion, to shatter every thing that has been 
done in the full light of day, and by a splendid 
apostasy to step back over more than half a cen- 
tury. Until that day comes, not only will it be 
here permitted, but it will be one of the necessary 
consequences of the social dogma, that we should 
raise ourselves to a height at which the divided, 
separated, and inimical churches may approximate 
and become conciliated. This point of view, which 
is that taken by Fi'ance in her institutions, is also 
that of knowledge ; it cannot live in the tumult of 
controversies, Ijut requires a serener re^^ion. 

If the promised unity is one day to be realised, 
if those many creids now o])posed and armed against 

one another, are, as has always been predicted, tw 
approach one another in the kingdom of the future, 
if one church is destined to gather together the 
tribes dispersed to the four winds of heaven, if the 
members of the human family secretly desire to 
blend themselves in one body, if the tunic of Christ, 
for which lots were drawn upon Calvary, is ever to 
re-appear in its integrity, I say that knowledge ac- 
complished a good work, by entering first on the 
way leading to this alliance. {Applause.) We shall 
have for enemies those who love hatred and divi- 
sion in holy things. Never mind, we must per- 
severe ; man divides, God reunites. {Applause.) 

Certainly the eyes of those must be shut who do 
not see that a new religious dawn is breaking upon 
the world ; I am so persuaded of this, that my 
ideas always turn to that quarter, and I find it, so 
to speak, impossible to sepai'ate any department of 
Imman affairs from the influence of religion. Man 
for some time has been so often deceived by man, 
that we must not be surprised, if we find him 
incapable of looking with enthusiasm towards any- 
thing but God. But this admitted, who have been 
the first missionaries of this new Gospel? I answer; 
thinkers, writers, poets, philosophers. No one can 
deny that these are the missionaries who every- 
where in France and in Germany first began to 
have recourse to that great groundwork of spiritu- 
ality, which is the substance of all real faith. 
Strange to say, scarcely have they completed this 
precursory work, than they are anathematized ! 
It is thought that if the human mind has raised 
itself towards heaven, it is for the purpose of deny- 
ing and falsifying itself for ever ; that the time has 
at length arrived to extinguish reason, and that it 
should be buried as quickly as possible in the God 
which it has at length regained. As usual, men 
dispute for the exclusive property and the pri- 
mitioe of this returning God. But this religious 
movement is more deep, more universal than ap- 
pears; every one would shut it up, circumscribe it, 
wall it in, within a particular precinct : but this 
aggrandised renewed Christ, escaped, as it were, a 
second time from the sepulchre, will not be so 
easily enslaved ; he divides himself, gives himself, 
communicates himself to all. Religious life appears 
not only in Catholicism, but in Protestantism ; not 
only in positive faith, but also in philosophy. This 
movement will not be stayed in the South of Europe, 
I see it also fermenting in the Germanic and Slavonic 
races, among those who are called heretics, as well 
as among the orthodox. Whilst all the nations of 
Europe feel themselves shaken to the very centre by 
I know not what holy presentiments of the future, 
there are men who think, that all this movement 
is taking place, according to the designs of Provi- 
dence, for the establishment of the Society of Jesus. 
At least, if we for a moment make this strange con- 
cession, they must allow that there is something 
good in their adversaries, since the generation edu- 
cated by the Jesuits was that which expelled them, 
and the generation educated by philosophy is that 
which brings them back. {Applause.) 

The history of the religious oi'ders since the esta- 
blishment of Christianity would be a singularly 
philosophical work. As philosophy has from time to 
time been reinvigorated by new schools, so religion 
has been raised, exalted from age to age, by new 
oi-ders, affecting to possess it, and, in fact, at a 
given time possessing it pre-eminently. They have 



each their peculiar lit'ii and virtue ; they push for- 
ward during some time the chariot of faith, until, 
corrupted by the worldly spirit which they oppose, 
and mistaking themselves for a final cause, they 
praise and deify themselves. Every one of these 
orders has its written code of laws ; in these 
charters of the desert appeai-s at every line the pro- 
found instinct of the legislator : some are even as 
remarkable for their foi'm as for their contents ; 
some are brief, laconic, like the laws of Lycurgus ; 
for example, those of the Anchorites : some re- 
mind us, by their flowery language, of the style of 
Plato ; such are those of St. Basil : some by their 
extraordinary splendour might compare with the 
most poetical flights of Dante; they are those of the 
Master : some by the profound knowledge they 
display of men and of affairs, appear conceived in 
tlie true spirit of Machiavel — they ai'e those of 
the Jesuits. The situation of the liuman mind at 
each of these epochs is impressed upon these docu- 
ments. At the beginning, in the institutions of the 
Anchorites, in the rule of St. Anthony, the sou! ap- 
pears concerned only with herself. Far from being 
troubled with the desire of conversion, man, imbued 
still with tlie spirit of Paganism, studiously avoids 
man ; he desires no communion with liis fellow. 
Armed against everything which suri'ounds him, for 
the single combat of the desert *, his life, night 
and day, consists only in contemplation and pi'ayer. 
Pray and read all day f, says the rule. At a later 
period, during the middle age, silent associations 
succeeded tlie hermitage. Under the law of St. 
Benedict, men lived united in the same monas- 
teries ; but this little society made no pretensions as 
yet to engage in contest with the great one. It 
lived entrenched behind its lofty walls t; it opened 
the door to the world if the world came to it ; but 
it made no advances towards the world. The 
power of speech was held in awe. An eternal 
silence closed the lips of these brothers ; for if they 
opened it was feared that Paganism might manifest 
itself. Every night these associates of the tomb 
slept in their cowl with their loins girded up, that 
they might be ready at once to answer the call of 
the archangel's trumpet. The spirit of the rule 
ordained that each hour should be piously occupied 
in the silent expectation of the last day. But when 
this epoch had passed, there was a revolution in 
the institutions of the orders. They desired to 
communicate directly with the world, which hither- 
to they had only perceived through the narrow 
grating of their monastery. Tiie monk left the con- 
vent to bear abroad the word, the flame which he 
had preserved intact. Such is the spirit of the in- 
stitutions of St. Francis, of St. Dominic, of the Tem- 
plars, and of the orders which sprang up under 
the inspiration of the Crusades. The struggle was 
transferred from the desert to the city ; but there 
still I'emained one step to take ; this was r(?served 
for the order which pretends to embody all those that 
preceded it, namely, the Society of Jesus. For all 
the others had a particular temperament, object, 
and habit ; they belonged more to one place tlian 
to another ; they preserved the character of 
their native country. Some indeed, by their very 
statutes cannot be transplanted out of a particular 
territory, to which tliey are attached like an indi- 
genous plant. 
• Singularem pugnam eremi. f Lege et ora toti die. 
I Munimenta clauslrorum. 

The character of Jesuitism, originated in Spain, 
prepared in France, developed, fixed in Rome, was 
to assimilate to itself the cosmopolitan spirit which 
Italy then impressed on all its works. This is why 
it harmonized with the spirit of the Revival in the 
south of Europe. On the other hand, it separated 
itself from the middle age by voluntarily rejecting 
asceticism and maceration. In Spain it at first con- 
templated only the possession of the Holy Sepul- 
chre. In Italy it became more practical ; it was 
not content with coveting a tomb, it coveted * also 
the living to make it a corpse. But by mixing and 
blending itself with temporal society it came to liave 
all things in common with it, and to be incapable of 
teaching it anything. The world has conquered it, 
not it the world ; and the epitome of the whole 
history of the religious orders is this, that, at the 
beginning, in the institution of the Anchorites, man 
was so exclusively occupied with God that worldly 
things had no existence for him ; wliilst at last, on 
the contrary, in the Society of Jesus man is so ab- 
sorbed in things, that God disappears in the hubbub 
of worldly affairs. {Applause.) 

Is this history of the religious orders finished ? 
Until the present day, the revolutions of science and 
society have continually called into existence, as an- 
tagonists and correctives, new orders; the successive 
innovations in the spirit of these partial societies, 
harmonized admirably with the immutability of the 
Church. This is the most certain sign of vitality. 
Now, during tlie last three centuries, since the esta- 
blishment of the Society of Jesus, has nothing hap- 
pened to render a new foundation necessary ? Has 
there not been enough of change, of rashness in the 
operations of the intellect ? Does not the French Re- 
volution deserve a corrective, similar to those which 
were applied in the middle age to every political 
and social commotion ? Everything has changed, 
every thing has been renewed in temporal society. 
Philosophy, 1 confess it, under her modest appear- 
ance, conceals too much boldness and too much 
pride. She believes herself victorious ! and it is 
against such an enemy that you oppose an effete 
religious order ! For my own part, were I en- 
trusted with the mission which others have under- 
taken, instead of being content with restoring socie- 
ties which have already committed themselves, and 
roused a spirit of hostility — the Dominicans, the 
Jesuits — I should believe that there are in the 
world enough of new changes, tendencies, philoso- 
phies, heresies if you will, to make it worth while to 
oppose to them another nile, another form, at least 
another name ; I should believe that this spirit of 
creation is the necessary testimony to the vitality 
of doctrine, and that a single word, pronounced by 
a new order, would be a thousand times more effi- 
cacious than all the eloquence in the world in the 
mouth of an antiquated society. 

However this may be, I have said enough to show 
that preaching in a particular church and public in- 
struction before men of different beliefs are not the 
same thing ; that to expect one to do the work of 
the other is to destroy both. Belief and knowledge, 
those two phases of the human mind, which may 
perhaps one day be united in one, have always been 
regarded as distinct. At the epoch of which we are 
treatuig they were specifically represented in his- 

* There is a rule of Loyola expressed in these terms : 
" If authority declares that white is black, affirm that i 
is black." — Spiritual Exercises, p. 291. 



tory by two men who appeared at no gi'eat distance 
of time one from the other ; Ignatius Loyola and 
Christopher Columbus. Loyola by an absolute ad- 
herence to the letter of authority, in the midst of 
the greatest commotions, preserves, maintains the 
past, snatches it as it were from the tomb, to re- 
instate it in the world. As to Christopher Colum- 
bus, he exhibits how the future comes to pass by 
the union of belief and liberty in the mind of man. 
He possesses as well as any man the tradition of 
Christianity ; but he interprets, he develops it ; 
he listens to every voice, to all the religious pre- 
sentiments of the rest of mankind ; he believes that 
there may be something divine, even in the most 
dissenting creeds. From this conception of religion, 
of the truly universal church, he raises himself to a 
clear view of the destinies of the globe; he gathers 
together, he scrutinizes, the mysterious words of the 
Old and the New Testament ; he ventures to give 
them a meaning, which, for a while, scandalizes in- 
fallibility ; one day he gives it the lie, the next he 
compels it to submit ; he breathes the breath of 
liberty into all tradition ; fi-om this liberty springs 
the word by which another world is born; he 
shatters the outward letter, he breaks the seal of tlie 
prophets; of their visions, he makes reality. This 

is a tendency different from the first. These two 
ways will long remain open before they unite. 
Every one is fi-ee to choose, to advance or to retreat. 
For my part it is my duty to establish, to assert 
the right, here, publicly, to prefer to the tendency 
which concerns only the past, that which opens a 
vista into futurity, and by augmenting the bounds of 
creation, augments the idea of the power of God. 
This I hope I have done without hatred and with- 
out tergiversation ; and whatever may happen, of 
this one thing 1 am certain, that I never shall re- 
pent of having done so. {Cviitinued applause.) 

[The question was decided this very day. Warned 
by the press, both the friends and the enemies of 
liberty of discussion gathered together, and filled 
two amphitheatres. During three quarters of an 
hour, it was impossible to speak. Many persons, 
even among our friends, thought it would be neces- 
sary to adjourn to another day. This I knew 
would be a confession of defeat, and I resolved to 
remain, if necessary, until night. Such also was 
the feeling of the greater part of the assembly. 1 
thank the crowd of unknown friends, who, within 
and without, by their firmness and moderation, 
put an end from this day forth to all hope of dis- 



I KNOW the spirit with which this audience is ani- 
mated, and I trust 1 have said enough for it to 
know me too. You know that I speak without 
hatred, but with a quiet determination to speak 
my whole mind. {Interruption,') An impartial 
observer, beholding what has lately taken place 
within these precincts, will willingly allow that 
a new fact is manifesting itself — the importance 
conceded by all to religious questions. It is 
a thing of no mean significance, to behold men 
pursuing such subjects with the interest (I will not 
say the passion) with which they formerly engaged 
in politics alone. It was felt that the interest of 
all was concerned ; and one word only was required 
to strike out the spark which was hidden at the 
bottom of every heart. The questions with which 
we meet in our subject, are the most important 
that can possibly occupy us ; they come in contact 
with the actual world only at one point, on account 
of their very magnitude. Let us learn, I pray you, 
to raise ourselves with them, and to pi-eserve that 
calmness wliich befits the search after truth. That 
which is here done remains not hidden within 
these precincts. Far off, even beyond the limits 
of France, there are contemplative minds observing 
our doings. 

There are times when men are brought up from 
the very cradle in a habit of silence, because they 
have never to expect a serious contradiction ; but 
there are times when they are trained to the dis- 
cipline of free discussion, in open day, and those 
times are the present. The worst service tliat 
• Delivered May 17th, 1843. 

could be rendered to any cause, is to endeavour to 
stifle the examination of it by force. Success is im- 
possible; the attempt never succeeds except in per- 
suading even the most conciliatory minds that the 
cause defended is incompatible with the new order of 
things. Of what use are all these puerile menaces \ 
France is not to be hissed off the stage. No man in 
this country can circulate his ideas without meet- 
ing somewhere with public control. The times are 
past when an idea, a society, an order, could insi- 
nuate, form, establish itself in secret, and then 
suddenly burst forth, when its roots were so deeply 
buried that they could no longer be extirpated. In 
whatever path men enter, they always find some 
watchful sentinel ready to give the alarm. No traps 
are now set; there are no ambuscades. That freedom 
of speecli whieli I now employ to-day, you may em- 
ploy to-morrow ; it is my safeguard, but it is yours 
also. What would become of my adversaries if they 
were deprived of it ? I can easily imagine a philo- 
sopher reduced to his books; but the Church with- 
out speech, who can imagine it for a moment ? And 
yet you pretend to stifle speech in the name of the 
Church. Go; all I can say to you is this, that its 
greatest enemies could not do otherwise. 

I have shown that the establishment of the 
Society of Jesus is the very groundwork of ray 
subject. Let us consider this question in the most 
impartial manner. Do not think that I condemn 
entirely the sympathy which it inspires in some 
persons of these times. I begin by saying, that I 
believe firmly in their sincerity. In the midst 
of modern society, often uncertain and without 



an aim, they meet with the remains of an extra- 
ordinary estabHshment wiiich, while all else has 
changed, has immutably preserved its unity. This 
spectacle astonishes them. At the sight of these 
still majestic ruins, they feel themselves attracted 
by a power which they do not estimate. I would 
not take my oath that this state of dilapidation does 
not influence them more powerfully than prosperity 
itself would. Perceiving all the outward forms 
preserved, rules, written constitutions, customs 
subsisting, they imagine that the Cliristian spirit 
still inhabits these images ; the more so, that a 
single step taken in this direction leads to many 
others, and that the principles of the body are 
connected together with infinite art. Having once 
entered this road, they advance further and further 
still, seeking beneath the forms of the doctrine of 
Loyola, for the genius and spirit of Christianity. 
Now it is my duty to tell these persons, and all 
those who hear me, that, life is to be found else- 
where, that it exists no longer in this constitution, 
this image void of the Spirit of God; that what has 
been, has been ; that the perfume has escaped from 
the vase ; that the soul of Christ is no longer in 
this whited sepulchre. Even should they visit me 
with a hatred which they believe eternal, and which 
it is impossible for me to share ; yet, if they come 
here violent, menacing, I forewarn them, I tell 
them to their face, I will do every thing in my 
power to lead them out of a road where, in my 
opinion, they will find nothing but hollowness and 
deception ; and it shall not be my fault, if, having 
delivered them from the embraces of an egotistical 
rule and of a dead system, I do not lead them into 
an entirely contrary system, which I believe to be 
the living road of truth and of humanity. 

In the most ordinary aff'airs of life people take 
advice ; they hear both sides of the question ; and 
yet when men are asked to submit the guidance of 
their thoughts, their hopes of futui-ity, to an order 
of which the primary maxim, in conformity with 
the genius of secret societies, is to bind you at 
every step, concealing that which is to follow, 
there are those who desire that no one shall show 
them the end ! They are full of hatred against 
those who desire to point out whither this darksome 
road leads. Many other more persuasive voices 
than mine impel men towards the past. Suffer 
then what it would be madness to oppose ; suffer 
in another place, another voice to point out an- 
other road, basing its conclusions, without anger, 
upon history and ancient documents ; after which 
the simplicity of no one will have been taken ad- 
vantage of. If you persevere, your convictions, 
at least, will have been submitted to the test of 
public contradiction; you will have acted as sincere 
men should act in serious matters. I oppose you 
openly, in good faith. I expect that you will 
employ similar weapons against me. 

Who knows, if among those who believe them- 
selves animated with the greatest aversion, there 
are not present some, even now, who in future will 
be grateful to him who has checked them this day 
from taking a step which would have committed 
them for ever ? Men ought to know whither their 
steps are tending ; and my first business must be 
to explain the mission of the order of Jesus in 
the contemporary world. Jesuitism is a warlike 
machine ; it must always have an enemy to combat, 
otherwise its prodigious combinations would be use- 

less. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? 
it had Protestantism for an antagonist. Not con- 
tent with this adversary, the idolatrous nations of 
Asia and America furnished it with a splendid occu- 
pation. It glories in struggling with the powerful. 
In our time, what enemy has brought it to life 
again ? Not surely the schismatic church, because, 
on the contrary, she recalled and saved it in Russia. 
Not idolatry. What then is the adversary powerful 
enough to awaken the dead ? To exhibit this with 
gi-eater clearness, I will insist only on the testimony 
of the Papacy itself, on the bulls condemning and 
I'estoring the order. From these documents and 
these dates, you youi'selves shall draw the inference. 
The bull suppressing the institution is of the 21st 
July, 1773. I must quote several passages, pre- 
mising beforehand that I do not intend using terms 
more expUcit or more violent than those which 
the Papacy has given utterance to by the mouth 
of Clement XIV. 

" Scarcely had the society been formed, (suo fere 
ab initio,) than various germs of division and jealousy 
manifested themselves not only among its own 
members, but also between it and the other regular 
bodies and orders, as well as the secular clergy, 
the academies, the universities, the public colleges 
of belles lettres ; and even the princes who had 
received it within their dominions. 

" The precautions taken were far from appeasing 
the cries and complaints that were raised against 
the society. On the contrary, in nearly every 
quarter of the globe afflicting disputes were raised 
against its doctrines, {universum pene orbem pervase- 
runt molestissimw contentiones de societatis doctrina,) 
which many persons denounced as opposed to the 
orthodox faith and public morals. Dissension in- 
creased within the bosom of the society, and without, i 
charges against it became more frequent, parti- | 
cularly with reference to its too great avidity for 
worldly goods. 

" We have remarked, with the greatest sorrow, 
that all the remedial measures which have been 
resorted to have had scarcely any effect in de- 
stroying and dissipating these serious troubles, 
accusations, and complaints; and that many of our 
predecessoi-s, as Urban VIII., Clement IX., X., 
XL, XII., Alexander VII. and VIIL, Innocent X., 
XL, XII., XIIL, and Benedict XIV., have la- 
boured to bring about so desirable a result, but 
ineffectually. They endeavoured, nevertheless, to 
restore peace to tlie Church by publishing very 
salutary constitutions, by forbidding all traffic, and 
absolutely interdicting the use and application of 
maxims which the holy see had justly condemned 
as scandalous and manifestly hai'niful to morals, &c. 

" In order to take the safest course in a matter of 
so great importance, we thought it required a long 
space of time, not only to enable us to make exact 
researches, to weigh every thing maturely, and to 
deliberate wisely, but also to implore, with many 
sighs and continual prayers, the help and support 
of the Father of Light. 

" After having taken so many necessary measures, 
in the assurance that we are aided by the Holy Spirit, 
being besides impelled by the necessity of fulfil- 
ling our ministry, and considering that the Society 
of Jesus holds out no further hope of those abun- 
dant fruits and those great advantages, on account 
of which it was instituted, approved of, and en- 
riched with so many privileges by our predecessors. 



that it is, perhaps, impossible, whilst it exists, that 
the Church should be restored to true and lasting 
peace; persuaded, impelled by so many powerful 
motives, and by others, with which the laws of 
prudence and the good government of the uni- 
versal Church supply us, but which we keep in the 
profound secrecy of our heart; after mature de- 
liberation, of our certain knowledge, and in the 
plenitude of our apostolical power, we extinguish 
and suppress the said society, abolish its statutes 
and constitutions, even tiiose which have been 
ratified with oath, by apostolical confirmation, or 
in any other manner." 

On the 16th of May, 1774, the cardinal-ambas- 
sador in France transmitted a confirmation of the 
bull to the minister of foreign aff'airs, accompanied 
with a commentary which was at the saaie time 
a warning to the king and to the clergy. 

" The pope has decided upon the suppression, at 
the foot of the altar, and in the presence of God. 
He believes that monks, proscribed by the most 
Catholic states, and strongly suspected of having 
entered, both of old and recently, into criminal 
conspiracies, having in their favour only the ex- 
terior of regularity, decried in their maxims, given 
up, in order to render themselves powerful and 
excite awe, to commerce, stock-jobbing, and politics, 
could only pi-oduce fruits of dissension and discoi'd, 
that a reform would only palliate the evil, and 
that it was better to prefer before all things the 
peace of the universal Church and of the holy see. . 
" In a word, Clement XIV. believes the Society 
of Jesuits incompatible with the tranquillity of the 
Church and the Catholic states. It was the spirit 
of the government of this company which was 
dangerous ; it is this spirit, then, which it is im- 
portant should not be revived ; and it is to this 
that the pope directs the serious attention of the 
king and the clergy of France." 

My conclusion now begins to appear. Do not 
forget that the bull of interdiction scarcely pi-e- 
ceded by fifteen years the Vjreaking out of the 
French revolution of 1783. The precursory genius 
which gave to France the royalty of intelligence, 
governed the world even before it developed 
itself openly. It had passed from writers to 
princes, from princes to popes. Behold the con- 
catenation of events ! France is about to throw 
herself into the path of innovation ; and the pa- 
pacy, inspii'ed by the pervading genius of the 
time, shatters the machine created to nip in 
the bud the principle of innovation. The spirit 
iif 1789, and of the Constituent Assembly, is no 
other than that of the pontifical bull of 1773. 
What has happened since then 1 As long as new 
France remains victorious in the world, the Com- 
))any of Jesus is no longer heard of. Before the 
freely or gloriously displayed banner of the French 
Revolution, this company disappears, as though it 
had never existed. Its fragments are hidden 
under other names. The Empire which, neverthe- 
less, loved the strong, left its remains in the dust, 
well knowing that he who could accomplish every 
thing, could not raise even one stone of it without 
being unfaithful to his origin ; and that among the 
decisions come to by nations, there exist some which 
must not be trifled with. Nevertheless, the mo- 
ment has come when the Society of Jesus, crushed 
by the papacy, is triumphantly re-established by 
the papacy. What has come to pass ? The bull 

restoring the order is dated August 16th, 1814 ; 
does this date tell you nothing ? That was the 
time when France besieged, trampled on, was com- 
pelled to hide her flag, to contradict in her law 
the principle of the Revolution, to accept just as 
much air, light, and life, as was vouchsafed to her. 
In the midst of the crusade of ancient Europe, 
each employed its customary arms in this incursion 
of the armies of every region ; the papacy let loose 
also the resuscitated army of Loyola, in order that 
the mind being circumscribed in its operation as 
well as the body, the defeat should be complete, 
and that France, forced to bend the knee, should 
not entertain, even in the inmost recesses of her 
being, the thought of recovering her feet. 

Such are the facts, the history, the reality, con- 
cerning which it will be found impossible to deceive 
the rising generation. This must be made quite 
clear ; this is the issue to which we must come, if 
we once enter on this path. It does not appear, 
it is not pointed out at the outset, but it is the 
necessary goal. On the one hand the French Re- 
volution, with the development of religious and 
social life ; on the other hand, concealed no one 
knows where, its natural antagonist, the Order of 
Jesus, with its unshaken connexion with the past. 
It is between these things we have to choose. 

Let no one think that they can be conciliated. 
It is impossible. The mission of Jesuitism in the 
sixteenth century was to destroy the Reformation ; 
the mission of Jesuitism in the nineteenth century 
is to desti'oy the Revolution, which supports, in- 
cludes, envelopes, and goes beyond the Reforma- 
tion. (Applause.) This, it must be confessed, is 
an important mission. The matter in question is 
not the University; it is not a mere college dispute. 
Something higher is aimed at. The object now, 
as formerly, is to enervate the princij)le of life, 
noiselessly to dry up the future in its source. Tliat 
is the whole question. It is now stated for our 
solution. But it is destined to develop itself 
elsewhere, to awaken those who are wrapped in 
the profoundest slumber, feigned or real ; for it is 
probably not without reason that we have been so 
irresistibly compelled to unmask it here. 

I now, without any circumlocution, cari'y my 
examination into the heart of the doctrine, which 
I shall first study historically, impartially, in its 
author, Ignatius Loyola. You are well acquainted 
with that life, over which chivalry, enthusiasm, 
and cool calculation, by turns held sway. Never- 
theless, we must examine the first beginnings, and 
see how so much asceticism was able to agree with 
so much policy, the indulgence in visions with the 
aptitude for business. Placed at the confines of 
two epochs, do not be astonished that this man 
was so powerful, that he is so still, that he stamps 
his conquest with an indestructible seal. He 
exercised, at the same time, the power which 
sprang from the ecstasy of the twelfth century, 
and the authority based on the consummate ex- 
perience of the modern world : he shared in the 
spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, and of Machiavel. 
In whatever way we regard him, he is one of 
those who lay siege to the human mind from the 
most opposite extremities. 

In a castle in Biscay, a young man, of an ancient 
family, receives, at the beginning of the sixteenth 
century, the military education of a Spanish noble. 
Whilst learning the sword exercise, he reads, 



by way of recreiitioii, the exploits of Amadis ; this 
is the whole of his acquirements. He becomes page 
to Ferdinand, then captain of a company ; hand- 
some, brave, worldly, greedy after excitement and 
battles. At the siege of Pampelima by the French 
he retires into the citadel ; he defends it with 
desperate courage. In the breach his right leg is 
broken by a Biscayan. He is cari-ied on a litter 
to a neighbouring castle, that of his father. After 
a painful operation, submitted to with heroic 
fortitude, he asks, to distract his thoughts, for his 
books of chivalry. In that old plundered castle 
were found only the lives of Jesus Christ and the 
saints. He reads them ; his heart, his thoughts, 
his whole mind become lighted up with a sudden 
revelation. In a short time this young man, so 
engrossed by worldly passions, becomes animated 
by a sort of divine madness ; the page is soon 
transformed into an ascetic, a hermit, a flagellant. 
Such were the beginnings of Ignatius Loyola. 

What was the first thought which fired the mind 
of this man of action ? The project of a pilgrimage 
to the Holy Land. While reading the lives of the 
holy Fathers, he draws, paints roughly, the scenes 
and figures to which they refer. Soon the idea of 
treading that sacred groimd engi'osses him. He be- 
lieves he sees, nay he sees the Virgin beckoning to 
him ; he sets out. As his wound is not quite 
cured, he mounts on horseback, carrying at the 
pommel of his saddle his girdle, his gourd, his 
coi'd sandals, his staff — all the insignia of the 
pilgrim. On his road he meets a Moor, with whom 
he discusses the mystery of the Virgin. A violent 
temptation seizes him to put the unbeliever to 
death ; he abandons the reins to the instinct of 
his horse. If he is brought back into the com- 
pany of the man, he will kill him ; if not, ho will 
forget him. Thus he begins at once to place his 
conscience at the mercy of chance. At some 
distance he dismisses his servants, puts on the 
haircloth shirt, and continues his journey with 
bare feet. At Manreza he enters the hospital ; 
he performs the vigil of arms before the altar of 
the Virgin, and suspends his sword on the pillar 
of the chapel. He redoubles his macerations ; he 
girds his loins with a chain of iron, his bread 
is mixed with ashes, and the Spanish noble begs 
his bread from door to door in the streets of 
Manreza. But even this does not satisfy this 
heart devoured with asceticism. Loyola retires 
into a cavern, whither the light of day never 
reaches, except through a fissure in the walls ; 
there he passes whole days, even whole weeks, 
without tasting food ; he is found stretched in 
a swoon on the brink of a torrent. In spite of all 
these penances, his mind is still troubled, he is 
assailed, not by doubt but I»y scruple; he subtilizes 
with himself: the same internal combat which 
Luther braved when about to change every thing, 
Loyola sustained in the attempt to preserve every 
thing. Even the idea of suicide pursues him ; 
in this internal warfare he groans, he cries, he 
rolls himself upon the earth. But his was a soul 
not to be overcome by the first assault ; Ignatius 
raises his head ; the vision of the Trinity, of the 
Virgin calling him towards her Son, saves him 
from despair. In the cavern of Manreza he be- 
comes conscious of the power which is in him : 
he knows not yet what he is to do ; but this he 
knows, that he is to do something. 

' A little merchaiiL-vessel gives Inui, through 
charity, a passage to Gaeta ; he is now on the 
! road to the Holy Land. In Italy, breathless and 
' a beggar, he glances over Rome, and then drags 
himself towards Venice. « 'Tis too late," cries a 
voice ; " the vessel of the pilgrims has departed." 
j " Never mind," replies Loyola ; " if vessels are 
wanting, I will cross the sea on a jijank." With 
such a determined will, it was not difficult to reach 
Jerusalem ; he arrives there, still with bare feet, 
: on the 4th of September, 1523. Stripped of every 
[ thing, he strips himself further to purchase of the 
Saracens the right to behold and re-behold the 
holy sepulchre. But just as he attains the goal of 
his desires, he perceives another and more distant 
good. Hitherto he had desired only to touch 
these stones ; now that he has touched them, he 
looks beyond. Above the holy sepulchre Christ 
appears to him in the heavens, and beckons him 
to approach nearer. To call, to convert the na- 
tions of the East is the fixed idea which pos- 
sesses him. Henceforth he has a positive mis- 
sion ; and from the moment when his imagination 
attained the desired end, another man is created 
within Loyola. His imagination calms ; a vast 
sphere of reflection opens ; the zeal for souls be- 
comes more intense than the love of the Cross *. 
The ascetic, the hermit is transformed, the poli- 
tician commences. 

At the sight of this deserted sepulchre, he 
undei'stands that the calculations of i-eason only 
can bring back the world to it. In this new 
crusade it is not the sword, but the mind that 
must work the miracle. It is a fine sight to be- 
hold this last of the crusaders proclaiming, in view 
of Calvary, that arms alone can work nothing 
in bringing back men to belief; from that day 
forth his plan is made, his system prepared, his 
determination fixed. He is ignorant of all things, 
scarcely knowing how to read or write. In a few 
years he determines to know all that the learned 
can teach. And, behold, in truth, the soldier, the 
amputated invalid, abandoning his imaginary pro- 
jects and the delights of asceticism, to take his 
pla«e in the midst of children in the elementary 
schools of Barcelona and of Salamanca. The 
knight of the court of Ferdinand, the anchorite of 
the rocks of Manreza, the free pilgrim of Mount 
Tabor, abases his apocalyptic spirit to grammar ! 
What does he, this man to whom the heavens are 
open ? He learns conjugations, he spells Latin. 
This prodigious self-government, in the midst of 
divine illuminations, already marks a new epoch. 

Nevertheless, the man of the desert re-appears 
in the pupil. He raises, they say, the dead ; he 
exorcises spirits. He has not become so much 
of a child but that the saint appears at intervals. 
Besides, he professes a strange kind of theology, 
which nobody until then had taught, and which 
begins to scandalize the Inquisition. He is cast 
into prison, and is liberated only on condition that 
he does not open his mouth again until he has 
studied four years in a regular school of theology. 

This sentence determines him to go whither know- 
ledge called him — to the University of Paris. Is 
it not time that the idea which has been so long 
ripening, should manifest itself ? Loyola is nearly 
thirty-five years old ; why does he yet wait ? This 
strange scholar has for chamber companions, in 
* Pere Bouhour's Life of St. Ignatius, p. 122. 



the college of St. Barbe, two young men, Pierre Le 
Fevre, and rran9ois Xavier. The one is a 
shepherd of the Alps, ready to receive the im- 
pression of any powerful word ; Loyola, in his case, 
is reserved ; he does not reveal his project until 
after three years of caution and calculati(jn. The 
other is a gentleman, overweening alike from youth 
and from birth. Loyola praises, flatters him ; he 
becomes again, for his sake, the noble of Biscay. 

Moreover, in order to subjugate minds, he pos- 
sesses a more certain means — the book of Spiritual 
Exercises, a work which contains his whole secret, 
and which he had sketched in the hermitages of 
Spain. Prepared by his conversation, none of his 
friends escaped the influence of this strange produc- 
tion, which they called the Mysterious Book. Al- 
ready two disciples had taken this bait ; they 
belonged to him for ever. Others of the same age 
join the first; in their turn they felt the fascina- 
tion. These were Jago Laynez, who afterwards was 
general of the order ; Alphonso Salmeron ; Rodri- 
guez D'Azevedo, — all Spaniards or Portuguese. 

One day these young men assemble together 
on the heights of Montmartre, under the eye of 
the master. In sight of the vast city, they make a 
vow to go together to the Holy Land, or to place 
themselves at the disposal of the pope. Two years 
afterwards, these same men arrive at Venice by 
diff"erent roads, each with a stick in their hands, a 
sack on their back, the Mysterious Book in their 
wallet. Whither are they going 1 They do not 
know. They have entered into alliance with a 
spirit which has subjugated them by its logical 
power. Loyola reaches the rendezvous by a diff"erent 
road. They believed they were about to be era- 
barked for the solitudes of Judaia. Loyola points 
mrt to them, instead of those solitudes, the field of 
combat — Luther, Calvin, the Anglican Church, 
Henry VIII., attacking the Papacy. With one 
word he sends Franfois Xavier to the uttermost 
ends of the eastern world. He keeps his other 
eight disciples with him to oppose to Germany, to 
England, to the half of France and of Europe, 
which had all been shaken. At the bidding of the 
master, these eight men advance with eyes shut, 
without counting or estimating the power of their 
adversaries. The Company of Jesus is formed ; 
the captain of the citadel of Pampeluna leads it to 
the combat. Amidst the struggles of the sixteenth 
century, a legion emerges from the dust of the 
roads. This beginning is grand, powerful, im- 
pressive ; the seal of genius is there. I should be 
the last person to deny it. 

If such was the origin of the Society of Jesus, 
let us have recourse to the works which be- 
came its soul, and contain w